December 7, 2009
Attention News Desk: Press Release (for immediate release)
Michele Hyndman (650) 723-8237
STANFORD, Calif. — Yerba Buena High School in San Jose crushed its previous blood drive record on Nov. 20 when 242 potential donors turned out for a blood drive with Stanford Blood Center. From those attending, 195 units of blood were collected and are being used by local patients whose survival depends on the precious gift. Last year, 193 people came to donate and 160 units were collected.
Science teacher Sue Lal is the advisor who helps her physiology students organize campus blood drives. Lal said she wasn’t sure how this year’s blood drive would turn out because she only had two, rather than three, classes to help organize it. “A lot of students worked very hard to convince their parents that donating blood is important to them, that they want to help save lives,” said Lal. The student organizers recruit, greet, preregister and escort blood donors and then serve them snacks in the post-donation canteen.
According to center spokesperson, Michele Hyndman, 20 percent of Stanford Blood Center’s annual collections come from students. “Students are truly the heart of our community’s blood supply, and the students of Yerba Buena should be proud to know that their blood drive is going to touch the lives of hundreds of local patients,” said Hyndman.
“The blood drives help our students and community realize that they can save someone else’s life by simply taking the time to donate blood. We hope that this awareness can lead to becoming lifelong donors,” said Yerba Buena principal Juan Cruz.
Hyndman said it is important for people to start donating when they’re young because if they wait too long, the fear of needles can become ingrained in them.
Lal said her students ”feel awesome” after donating blood. “They are no longer afraid of the needle and, hopefully, when they are in college or working, they will feel comfortable in participating in any future blood drives,” she said.
Currently, the blood center is below minimum inventory in six out of eight blood types. “As we head into the holidays, we need the rest of the community to continue to donate while students are on winter break. It’s when students are on vacation that we experience critical blood shortages,” said Hyndman.
Stanford Blood Center has three locations in Palo Alto and Mountain View, and holds blood drives throughout the Bay Area daily. The blood center serves patients at O’Connor Hospital, Stanford Hospital & Clinics, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Palo Alto Medical Foundation Clinic, El Camino Hospital, El Camino Los Gatos Hospital, the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, the Livermore Veterans Affairs Hospital and three freestanding local surgery centers.
Donors can call (650) 723-7831 or toll-free (888) 723-7831 to make an appointment and get directions. 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 or to schedule an appointment online, please visit https://bloodcenter-stg.stanford.edu.
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The Stanford University School of Medicine consistently ranks among the nation’s top 10 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.