RTI International donates $66,000 to Red Cross to replace aging blood-processing machines

October 26, 2017

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC— RTI International has donated $66,000 to the American Red Cross Central North Carolina chapter to replace three aging centrifuges that are critical to the processing of blood that saves lives in our region and across the country.

A centrifuge spins whole blood to separate it into transfusable components – red cells, platelets and plasma. Patients may receive the specific components of the blood needed to treat their condition, or a pint of whole blood.

The Red Cross is the largest blood supplier in the country. Each year, the Red Cross delivers blood to patients at 2,600 hospitals nationwide. It stocks each of the 77 distribution sites with three to seven days’ worth of inventory to ensure they can respond to local demand 365 days a year, including during times of disaster and other crises.

The Durham, North Carolina, facility in particular processes more than 200,000 units of blood annually. It houses an Immunohematology Reference Lab, a Collection Center, Mobile Staging Area, and a Manufacturing and Distribution site.

“We have a tremendous responsibility locally, with two of the nation’s top academic teaching hospitals, to produce the blood products vital to treating their patients,” said Dr. Corrine Goldberg, a medical director at the Red Cross. “RTI’s partnership demonstrates a commitment to humanity because, with it, they enable and ensure the future production of critical blood components in this region.”

Members of RTI’s Executive Leadership Team recently visited the Durham facility to walk through the blood processing procedure and to view the new equipment.

“It was great to learn about the complexities of the blood donation process, from the beginning to the end,” said RTI President and CEO Wayne Holden, Ph.D. “We were impressed with all that the Red Cross does to ensure the blood is safe and provided to people in need.”

“We are pleased to extend our partnership with the Red Cross and the impact in our community by supporting this important process,” said Lisa May, executive vice president of human resources at RTI, who also serves on the Red Cross Central NC Chapter Board of Directors.  

During the visit, the Red Cross provided Holden and May with a certificate of appreciation.

“We are thankful for the longstanding alliance we have with RTI,” said Red Cross Regional Chief Executive Officer Barry Porter. “In addition to the donation of centrifuges, this includes the blood drives RTI regularly conducts at its headquarters, as well as the amazing outpouring of support from RTI and staff when natural disasters strike.”