December 13, 2021
Attention News Desk: Press Release (for immediate release)
Ross Coyle | 650-725-3804
STANFORD, Calif. — As many in our community may be aware, the national blood supply is in a critical state, including right here at home in Northern California. In part, this is because of a decrease in donations due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic; but it’s heightened at this time of year by rainy weather, by the impact of cold and flu season, and by donors being less available throughout the holidays. As a result, Stanford Blood Center (SBC) is currently facing a critical need for all blood types, especially type O blood products, and is asking Bay Area residents to come out and donate this week to meet the immediate needs of local patients.
Over the past few weeks, SBC has seen a significant decline in the number of people coming in to give blood. There have been a lot of appointment cancellations coupled with a significant increase in usage at local hospitals. Just last week, our partner hospitals needed twice as many type O units in support of multiple patients with complications and heavy bleeding on more than one day.
“O+ and O- are the most frequently needed blood types for patients and, as of today, we have less than a four-day supply. Given current demand, and with the number of cancellations we are seeing, that is not enough to carry us through the upward trend in usage. In the past two weeks, SBC sent out 15 percent more type O red blood cells (RBCs) than the typical weekly average,” said Dr. Suchi Pandey, Chief Medical Officer at Stanford Blood Center. “While 15 percent may not sound like a lot, it means our current collection of type O cannot meet the need for our regular hospital partners who are treating numerous patients in critical care at this time. So we need your help now to fill the gap. These transfusions represent individuals in the community whose lives depend on the generosity of blood donors.”
“Blood supplies are historically at low levels around this time of year, but especially so right now. Busy holiday schedules, winter weather, illnesses and the ongoing impact of COVID-19 have all contributed to a drop in donations, so we’re urging the community to please consider donating in the coming days to help replenish the blood supply and ensure sustainable levels during this critical time,” said Renee Gipson, Donor Services Director at Stanford Blood Center. “Blood donation remains an essential activity. The safety of our donors is a top priority and we have measures in place to ensure blood donation continues to be a safe process for everyone onsite.”
If you’re thinking about donating for the first time, now is a great opportunity to help save lives. Donors are encouraged to make an appointment at one of three donation center locations in Campbell, Menlo Park, or Mountain View. There are also a number of mobiles open to the public this week, including blood drives in Livermore, Milpitas, San Carlos, and San Jose.
As an extra thank-you, everyone who comes in to donate through December 31 will receive enough bonus points to get a $10 gift card of their choice from Peet’s Coffee, Lowe’s, Jamba Juice or Chipotle. Appointments can be scheduled online at stanfordbloodcenter.org or by calling 888-723-7831 for same-day appointments.
Donors should be in good health with no cold, flu, or COVID-19 symptoms. They should eat well prior to donation, drink fluids, and present a photo ID at the time of donation. Eligibility information can be found at stanfordbloodcenter.org/eligibility or by calling 888-723-7831.
About Stanford Blood Center
Stanford Blood Center (SBC) is an independent, community blood center that supplies blood products and testing services to multiple Bay Area hospitals and is a recognized leader in the fields of transfusion and transplantation medicine. SBC was created at the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1978 to meet the complex transfusion and transplant needs of Stanford Health Care and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, as well as provide clinical trial services and specialized blood products for researchers. Today, the center remains locally focused, serving community hospitals, patients and donors, while contributing to research and advancement that impact the world at large. More information is available at stanfordbloodcenter.org.