Stanford Blood Center Media Kit

About SBC

Palo Alto Donor Center

Stanford Blood Center (SBC) supplies blood and blood components to four community hospitals. SBC is a private, nonprofit community agency that was established in 1978 and has been serving the Bay Area for nearly 40 years. One unique feature of Stanford Blood Center is our integration with research programs, which concentrate on the causes, prevention and treatment of blood diseases and blood-borne disorders. The research benefits patients by providing direct and immediate application of important medical advances made by Stanford scientists and their colleagues.

Locations & Appointments

Stanford Blood Center has donation centers in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Mountain View. To schedule an appointment at one of our centers, call 888-723-7831. For information on our mobile donation sites, visit our donor website at and enter your zip code under “Make an Appointment at a Mobile Blood Drive.”

Blood Donation FAQs

A: To be eligible to donate blood, a person must be 18 and should be in good health; 16-17 year olds can donate with parental consent. All donors should weigh at least 110 pounds and must pass the physical and health history examination given prior to donation.

A: An estimated 38% of the U.S. population can donate blood, but less than 10% actually do.

A: There are many different types of blood groups, and the most famous group is the ABO group. The ABO group is made up of four blood types: A, B, AB and O. Another important blood group is the Rh (or D) group, which is either positive or negative. Therefore, just from these two blood groups, we can have a total of 8 types (A-positive, A-negative, O-positive, etc…).

A: Just one pint of donated blood can help save the lives of up to 3 patients.

A: One pint of blood can be potentially separated into several components: red blood cells, plasma, and platelets. Depending on need, the plasma can be further made into cryoprecipitate (cryo).

A: Red blood cells, White Blood Cells, Platelets and Plasma:

  • Red Blood Cells carry oxygen to the body’s organs and tissues.
  • White Blood Cells are the body’s primary defense against infection.
  • Platelets are very small cellular particles that help blood to clot.
  • Plasma is the liquid in which all these cells are flowing throughout your body. Within plasma are many proteins, and some of them are involved in helping your blood clot. These proteins are called “clotting factors.” Clotting factors and platelets are the primary ways by which your body controls bleeding.
  • These cellular components of blood (Red Blood Cells, White Blood Cells, and Platelets) are made in the body’s bone marrow. Patients with leukemia, especially after chemotherapy, do not have a functional bone marrow. Therefore, red blood cells and platelets are extremely critical to giving these patients a chance to live until their own bone marrow recovers. This is especially true for platelets because platelets only last for 2-5 days within a patient’s body before that patient requires more platelets.

A: Currently there is no substitute for human blood.

Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.

Stanford Blood Center accepts all blood types. That said, blood centers often run short of type O and B blood. Shortages of all types of blood often occur during the summer and winter holidays because schools are on break or people may be travelling or are too ill to donate.

Donors ages 16-18 will be eligible for a whole blood donation once every six months (180 days) or a double red blood cell (DRBC) donation once every 12 months (356 days). Donors 19 years of age or older continue to be eligible for a whole blood donation every 56 days or a DRBC donation every 4 months.

A: Blood donation takes four steps: medical history, quick physical, donation, and snacks. The actual blood collection takes approximately 10-20 minutes. The entire process, from when you sign in to the time you leave, takes about 45 minutes to one hour.

A: Because sterile technique and sterile products are used during the donation process, you cannot get any blood disease by donating blood.

A: The donor’s body replenishes the fluid lost from donation in 24 hours. It may take up to two months to replace the lost Red Blood Cells. Learn more on our Iron and Blood Donation page.


O Rh-positive 38 percent
A Rh-positive 34 percent
B Rh-positive 9 percent
O Rh-negative 7 percent
A Rh-negative 6 percent
AB Rh-negative 1 percent

Stanford Blood Center must collect 200 pints of blood a day to meet the needs of local patients. However, the local hospitals are constantly growing and therefore we need to constantly increase our own collections to keep pace with the community needs.

In an emergency, anyone can receive type O Rh-negative Red Blood Cells, and type AB individuals can receive Red Blood Cells of any ABO type. Therefore, people with type O blood are known as “universal donors” and those with type AB blood are known as “universal recipients.” In addition, AB Plasma donors can give to all blood types.

A: After blood is drawn, it is tested for ABO group (blood type) and Rh type (positive or negative), as well as for any unexpected Red Blood Cell antibodies that may cause problems in the recipient. Screening tests are also performed for evidence of donor infection, such as hepatitis viruses B and C, human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV) 1 and 2, human T-lymphotropic viruses (HTLV) I and II, and syphilis. The specific tests performed are listed below:

  • Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)
  • Hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc)
  • Hepatitis C virus antibody (anti-HCV)
  • HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibody (anti-HIV-1 and anti-HIV-2)
  • HTLV-I and HTLV-II antibody (anti-HTLV-I and anti-HTLV-II)
  • Serologic test for syphilis antibodies
  • Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing (NAT) for HBV, HCV, HIV, West Nile Virus, and Zika Virus
  • Trypanosoma Cruzi antibody testing

While a given individual may be unable to donate, he or she may be able to recruit a suitable donor. Relatives and friends of a patient requiring a blood transfusion may wish to help their loved one. Donating blood to replenish the units that were needed is one of the best gifts one can give. You can also host a blood drive or gather a group for a center drive. Learn how to become a volunteer or make a financial contribution.