Did you know…?

About every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.

That means, this many people have needed blood since you arrived here:

Today’s Blood Need

Click a blood type or product below to learn more. Those in red indicate an increased need today.

Summer of Giving

GLAAD, in partnership with America’s Blood Centers, has kicked off their Summer of Giving campaign, which aims to encourage businesses to host blood drives and all eligible individuals to donate blood in recognition of recent eligibility changes that promote fairness and inclusivity in the donation process while maintaining the safety of the blood supply.

Stanford Blood Center implemented the new FDA guidance that expands blood donor eligibility to more LGBTQIA+ community members in October of 2023, and is a proud to support this awareness campaign. Learn more about the eligibility changes here, and please help us spread the word by following us on social media for updates!

Blood Donation: How It Works

Preparing to donate

Before your appointment:

  • Always be sure to drink plenty of water before donating blood!
  • Eat an iron-rich meal. Eating enough iron is essential to ensuring that your hemoglobin level is right for donating. You can check out some tips on getting enough iron here.
  • Bring your donor ID. If you have a donor ID, be sure to bring it with you to your appointment. First-time donors or returning donors without a donor ID card should bring a valid state-issued photo identification.

Avoid alcohol and fatty foods for 24 hours, and aspirin (if donating platelets) for 48 hours, before your donation.

Donating blood relaxing

The Donation Process

Congratulations, you made an appointment to donate blood and save lives! So what happens now? There are four basic steps to every blood donation:

  1. Registration
  2. Medical History
  3. Donation
  4. Rest & Refreshments

After your blood donation:

  • Always be sure to drink plenty of water to rehydrate.
  • Sit down or lie down if you feel lightheaded or dizzy. Call our post-donation callback line at (650) 725-9968 if you feel unwell.
  • Rest and replenish iron. We recommend you take an iron supplement and/or eat foods rich in iron combined with a source of vitamin C after your donation.

Avoid alcoholic beverages and vigorous exercise for at least 24 hours after donating, and be sure to keep that bandage on for a few hours!

Please call our post-donation callback line at (650) 725-9968 immediately if you:

  • feel that your blood should not be given to a patient;
  • are not sure that your blood is safe;
  • develop a fever within 24 hours after donating;
  • have any illness within two weeks of your donation; or
  • are diagnosed by a physician as having West Nile, dengue, chikungunya, Zika, or Ebola virus Infection.


Generations of Gratitude: The Lifesaving Impact of Blood Donation on My Family

Many of our donors have a personal motivation behind donating blood. Julie Fogarty, from a closely connected family with a unique medical history, exemplifies this. Here, she recounts her family’s enduring struggle with leukemia, spanning three generations, and her deep gratitude for blood donors whose generosity helped extend her relatives’ lives. By Julie Fogarty My…

Ten-Year-Old Cancer Survivor Holds Blood Drive at School

By Julie Peachey, Public Relations Officer We first introduced you to young Hadley in January 2021 when she was just six years old and a year into her treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Hadley had started kindergarten in the fall of 2019 when she began experiencing pain in her legs, causing her to limp and…

Stanford Blood Center Implements Individual Donor Assessment for Blood Donation

As of Thursday, October 19, Stanford Blood Center (SBC) has implemented the updated FDA blood donation guidelines, which eliminate questions based on sexual orientation. We look forward to welcoming those who may be newly eligible to support local patients through blood donation. Stanford Blood Center is committed to achieving an inclusive blood donation process that...

The Web’s Most Asked Questions: What Do Blood Donations Get Tested For?

Blood donations are subject to a battery of tests that play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of the blood supply. These tests are designed to identify diseases that can potentially be transmitted through blood transfusions. Among the well-known pathogens that are screened for are hepatitis and HIV. However, there are lesser-known threats like…

The Web’s Most Asked Questions: How Blood Donation Helps Our Community

Blood donation is a lifeline for our community, with more than 15 million blood products used annually in the United States. Every two seconds, someone in the country requires blood, meaning blood donation directly impacts our community, saving lives and providing crucial support to those in need. Blood donation helps our community in many ways,…

Individual Donor Assessment — Changes to Blood Donation Deferrals

In May 2023, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a final revised guidance regarding risk assessment for sexually transmitted infectious diseases (most notably HIV) that can be transmitted through transfusion. Stanford Blood Center is currently working to implement these changes operationally, and we expect the changes to take effect this fall. POLICY CHANGE Previously,…