Author Archives for Stanford Blood Center

AIDS Screening: Stanford Blood Center’s Pioneering Role

June 24, 2011 2:48 pm Published by Comments Off on AIDS Screening: Stanford Blood Center’s Pioneering Role

By Ed Engleman, MD, Founder and Medical Director, Stanford Blood Center

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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 8:00 am Published by Comments Off on Born To Do This

By Geoff Belanger, Donor Services Document & Project Manager

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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 1:30 pm Published by Comments Off on Why All the Same Questions?

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 8:59 am Published by Comments Off on Some Reflections on the 30th Anniversary of AIDS

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.


Erythropoietin & Your Red Blood Cells

June 3, 2011 3:18 pm Published by Comments Off on Erythropoietin & Your Red Blood Cells

By Billie Rubin

Guess who regulates how many red blood cells (RBCs) we need at any given time. Bone marrow? Liver? Spleen? Your lungs? Give up? It's your kidneys. Yup, they don't just make urine. It all starts when those little kidneys sense the level of oxygen in our blood. When the oxygen level is low, the kidneys put out a hormone called erythropoietin.


Sleep Disorders: Everything You Always Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to Ask

June 2, 2011 7:59 am Published by Comments Off on Sleep Disorders: Everything You Always Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to Ask

At our May 2011 Café Scientifique, Dr. Dement discussed the importance of sleep and the consequences of sleep deprivation, narrowing in on three major sleep disorders; insomnia, narcolepsy and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and best treatment practices. He also shared his personal challenges with insomnia. Click here to listen to the podcast from his talk.


Pulitzer Prize for Blood Donation Stories

June 1, 2011 11:05 am Published by Comments Off on Pulitzer Prize for Blood Donation Stories

It was December 1944 and a young journalist for the Call-Bulletin in San Francisco had an idea; one that would earn him a Pulitzer Prize for reporting. Jack McDowell, like so many other young men living in a time of war, volunteered to go fight for his country. His poor eyesight kept him out but it was ultimately his vision for this series of articles that won him the prestigious prize.


Groovy Gear for Gracious Givers

May 26, 2011 10:46 am Published by Comments Off on Groovy Gear for Gracious Givers

By John Williams, Marketing Manager, Stanford Blood Center Tweet For several years Stanford Blood Center has given away tie dye t-shirts to blood donors as promotional items. Why? We know that the motivation for donors to give blood is obviously...


Apheresis: It’s Greek to Me

May 20, 2011 9:31 am Published by Comments Off on Apheresis: It’s Greek to Me

By Billie Rubin, Hemoglobin’s Catabolic Cousin, reporting from the labs of Stanford Blood Center Tweet In Greek, apheresis means “to remove or to separate a part from the whole.” Here are a few facts from the “Core Curriculum for Nephrology...