A Magic Potion

July 15, 2011 at 3:28 pm
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By Billie Rubin

Cryoprecipitate is a blood product made from frozen plasma. The plasma is slowly thawed, then sent through a centrifuge, a machine that spins and sorts blood components based on their masses. The "cold precipitate" protein that is left behind after most of the liquid plasma is removed is the cryoprecipitate.

In the Family

July 13, 2011 at 2:24 pm
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By Deanna Bolio, Public Relations Associate, Stanford Blood Center


Fifteen-year-old Maya Israni has been around blood drives since she was no taller than the Canteen table. Today, Maya is the youngest blood drive coordinator for a community blood drive. Maya was six when her mother, Sonoo, hosted the first blood drive at Ladera Recreation District, which she did in response to the September 11, 2001 tragedy.

Congenital CMV: A Family’s Journey

July 6, 2011 at 2:26 pm
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By Julie Ruel, Social Media Manager, Stanford Blood Center


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is not an unfamiliar term in the blood banking world. A member of the herpes family, it is one of the many tests we perform on each unit of donated blood. For healthy individuals, having the virus, or what we refer to as being CMV positive, isn't harmful. And if healthy, unless you've specifically been tested for CMV, you most likely don't know whether you have the antibody to it or not. However, for infants or those with impaired immune systems, it can be deadly. Because of this, Stanford Blood Center routinely tests for it and was in fact, the first blood center in the world to provide CMV negative blood to hospitals for immunocompromised transfusion recipients.

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The Buddy System

June 30, 2011 at 9:37 am
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On Dec. 29, 2010, Linda Johnson became the first woman to make 500 donations at Stanford Blood Center. It was more than 20 years ago when Linda's friend and Stanford Blood Center platelet donor, Stan Jensen, urged her to check if she would make a good platelet donor. Linda was a perfect candidate with good veins and a high platelet count.

AIDS Screening: Stanford Blood Center’s Pioneering Role

June 24, 2011 at 2:48 pm
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By Ed Engleman, MD, Founder and Medical Director, Stanford Blood Center


During the early 1980s we decided to apply new research technology to a clinical problem: the prevention of the transmission by transfusion of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The problem was highly charged with social, political, legal, ethical, and economic overtones complicating the technical and medical issues at hand. In a decision that engendered intense controversy, in 1983 Stanford Blood Center instituted the first blood testing program specifically intended to reduce the risk of transfusion transmission of the then uncharacterized, but presumed infectious cause of AIDS.

Born To Do This

June 21, 2011 at 8:00 am
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By Geoff Belanger, Donor Services Document & Project Manager


I've worked at the Blood Center for a little over seven years now in a variety of roles, beginning as a phlebotomist. If you've donated on a mobile between 2004 and 2008, there is a good chance I drew your blood, some more than a few times.

Why All the Same Questions?

June 7, 2011 at 1:30 pm
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By Julie Ruel, Social Media Manager, Stanford Blood Center

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One common question we hear from blood donors is, "Why do I need to answer the same questions each time I come in to give blood? Can't you keep my responses on file?" We cannot and here's why. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that all blood centers ask all blood donors all questions on the day of each blood donation as a safety measure. Honesty and consistency in answering these questions is critical. The safety of the blood supply and the patients receiving the blood depend on truthful answers.

Some Reflections on the 30th Anniversary of AIDS

June 6, 2011 at 8:59 am
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By Ruthann Richter, Director of Media Relations at the Stanford School of Medicine.

One of the many controversies I covered was the decision by the Stanford Blood Center to be the first in the country to test for the virus in donated blood. The move was reviled in the blood banking industry, for it called into question the safety and reliability of the nation's blood supply. The blood center later would be vindicated, as every other bank would ultimately follow suit and routinely test for HIV. Center Director Ed Engleman, MD, says Stanford's early initiative saved some 30,000 lives.