About Blood Donation / FAQs

Giving Blood Works

September 14, 2011 at 4:15 pm
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By Amanda Baker, Communications Intern, Stanford Blood Center


On Tuesday, Stanford Blood Center (SBC) hosted an encore of the Giving Blood Works promotion at our Hillview Center. This event brought together donors, recruiters, and career counselors for an evening including a networking techniques seminar, a chance to meet with recruiters from local companies, and an opportunity to sign up for half-hour resume critiques with career experts Lisa Stotlar and Ellen Shulman from CareerGenerations.

The Early History of Blood Transfusions

August 25, 2011 at 10:23 am
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By Julie Ruel, Social Media Manager, Stanford Blood Center

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Medicine and murder were two words I did not expect to see together in the title of an NPR talk on the history of blood transfusions. Holly Tucker, a professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, was going about her usual business as she researched information for a class lecture on the discovery of blood circulation by an English physician in the 1620s. What she uncovered, purely by accident, led to her book about the history of blood transfusions, "Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution".

Free Career Workshop: Giving Blood Works

August 19, 2011 at 8:54 am
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By John Williams, Marketing Manager, Stanford Blood Center

In 2009, during the height of the recession, Stanford Blood Center ran a promotion in which blood donors who donated during a two-week period were invited back to a career networking workshop, resume clinic, and job fair. The event, called "Giving Blood Works," was a hit with job-seekers and a win-win for the unemployed and the recipients of the life-saving blood products. And let's not overlook the benefit to the employers. After all, we like to think that someone who is willing to donate blood to help save a life must be a good job candidate!

Donating Blood is Both High and Low Tech

August 10, 2011 at 10:05 am
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By John Williams, Marketing Manager, Stanford Blood Center


It's heartwarming when, in this time of technology-based connectivity, you see a family doing things together. In this case, Mary Sullivan and her sons Tom, Dan, Greg and Steve donated blood for the community as a family. Ironically, it was a technology-based promotion that drove this wonderful group into Stanford Blood Center that day.

Whole Blood & Platelets: What’s the Difference?

July 28, 2011 at 11:01 am
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By Julie Ruel, Social Media Manager, Stanford Blood Center

At Stanford Blood Center we collect several different types of blood products from our volunteer donors. All products have different functions pre- and post-donation. In other words, before and after they leave your body, they each serve different purposes. For the scope of this article, I'll focus on red blood cells (RBCs) collected during a whole blood donation and platelets collected during an ABC donation. These are the two most common products we draw, accounting for about 99% of our total donations in a year.

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.

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.

Pulitzer Prize for Blood Donation Stories

June 1, 2011 at 11:05 am
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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.