October 21, 2020
Attention News Desk: Press Release (for immediate release)
Ross Coyle | 650-725-3804
STANFORD, Calif. — The flu season is here, and Bay Area residents are being asked to donate all blood types at Stanford Blood Center (SBC) to ensure a sustainable supply to meet the needs of patients at local hospitals.
“The flu season has arrived early, and it’s put us in a tough position for collecting the blood products needed to help save lives,” says SBC spokesperson Ross Coyle. “We’re already feeling the impact with a dip in appointments and, considering that only about five percent of the Bay Area currently donate blood, maintaining a strong inventory can be particularly challenging during this time. So, we’re reaching out to the public to please consider coming in to one of our centers or visiting a mobile blood drive.”
SBC’s partner hospitals have seen a significant increase in the number of blood products used to support patients. “Just in the past two weeks, patients at our local partner hospitals required more than 1,650 units of red blood cells (RBCs), including close to 230 units of O negative (O-) RBCs,” said Dr. Tho Pham, Chief Medical Officer at Stanford Blood Center. “In addition, we supported six cardiovascular patients who alone needed about 400 blood products, as well as two solid organ transplant patients requiring 120 units of products.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that last year, there were 37 million to 43 million flu illnesses in the US. For those who have taken precaution and already received the flu vaccination, you can still donate blood, so long as you are feeling healthy the day of your donation.
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 through the end of the month, including drives in Menlo Park, Palo Alto, and Redwood City. Appointments can be scheduled online at stanfordbloodcenter.org or by calling 888-723-7831 for same-day appointments.
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.