UCLA Spotlight


UCLA Blood and Platelet Center

  • By Anne Burke
  • Published Oct 1, 2004 8:00 AM

Mike Basile, a lead locksmith with Facilities Management, is at work. Lying on a comfy, contoured chair, Basile is watching a DVD of “187,” a bloody shoot-’em-up with Samuel L. Jackson. After the movie, Basile surfs the Web.

He did this on work time? Yes, he did. What’s more, the 17-year UCLA employee will get half a day paid time off and a chewy, chocolate chip cookie. Basile is taking advantage of one of the niftiest deals available to UCLA employees — the new “e-Chair” for blood platelet donors at the UCLA Blood & Platelet Center.

From the comfort of a padded, reclining chair, employees who donate platelets — the sticky cells that cause blood to clot — can watch a movie from a library of about 100 flicks, send and receive personal e-mails, check out eBay, even do a little online shopping. The screen and keyboard connect to a wall-mounted arm while a trackball sits on the chair by the donor’s free hand.

“It’s real nice,” said Basile, who looks and sounds relaxed despite the profusion of tubes sticking out of his right arm. By the time he leaves, the father of three will have spent about 2 ½ hours staring at the 14-inch screen. Donating platelets involves returning unused components to the body, so it’s much more time-consuming that donating blood, which takes only about 15 minutes.

The unveiling of the e-Chairs — eight in all — coincided with the Blood & Platelet Center’s move in September from the 200 Medical Plaza building to a second-floor Westwood Village storefront at 1045 Gayley Ave. across from Whole Foods Market.

Employees receive four hours of paid administrative leave for donating blood or platelets, up to a maximum three days a year. To learn more, call the center at (310) 825-0888 or e-mail gotblood@ucla.edu.