October 17, 2012
Attention News Desk: Press Release (for immediate release)
Dayna Kerecman Myers (202) 669-2921
STANFORD, Calif. — After more than two decades’ worth of visits, blood donor David “Mitch” Mitchell will hit a unique milestone on Aug. 20 when he becomes the first person to make 600 donations at the Stanford Blood Center.
Mitchell, 75, will donate through a specialized two-hour process that allows the center to collect specific blood components, such as platelets. This donation type allows him to donate as many as 24 times a year. Whole-blood donors are limited to a maximum of about six donations per year.
Mitchell first began donating blood at age 17 when he was in the Air Force, and it quickly became a habit. “It only takes a couple of hours, and once you build it into your life, it just happens,” said the Mountain View resident.
He recalled attending a survivors’ dinner about 10 years ago where one blood recipient got up and thanked the blood donors in attendance by saying, “I’m here, you’re here and that’s good.” That’s his bottom line, Mitchell said. Donating is a small inconvenience, but it means the world to someone in need.
“Someone with a loved one who needs blood would offer every vein in their body,” he said. “Well, there are a lot of people out there who need blood and don’t have anyone to help, so I do what I can.”
Cancer and leukemia patients often depend upon platelet transfusions. For example, a leukemia patient might have a dangerously low platelet count that could be caused by the disease itself or by its treatment, which can damage bone marrow and result in hemorrhage. Platelet transfusions can help keep these patients alive while allowing enough time for their therapy to work.
Although Mitchell started as a whole-blood donor, Stanford quickly identified him as an ideal platelet donor. He has been donating regularly at the blood center ever since. “The nurses and medical assistants here are just a delight,” he said.
With donors Eric Buhr, Linda Johnson and Dick Tagg, Mitchell is among an elite group who have given blood more than 500 times to the Stanford Blood Center.
The blood center currently has a need for all blood types, but there is a particular need for Rh-negative blood. Donors should be in good health with no cold or flu symptoms. They must eat well prior to donation, drink fluids and present photo identification at the time of donation. The process takes about an hour. For more information, visit https://bloodcenter-stg.stanford.edu.
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The Stanford University School of Medicine consistently ranks among the nation’s top medical schools, integrating research, medical education, patient care and community service. For more news about the school, please visit http://mednews.stanford.edu.The medical school is part of Stanford Medicine, which includes Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. For information about all three, please visit http://stanfordmedicine.org/about/news.html.
Stanford Blood Center was created at the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1978 to meet the complex transfusion needs of Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, as well as provide tailored blood products and clinical trial services for school researchers. Today the center provides blood products to eight local hospitals and is a recognized leader in the field of transfusion medicine. More information is available at https://bloodcenter-stg.stanford.edu.