You: Kind eyes, huge heart, and friendly smile, wearing a red t-shirt, with awesome hemoglobin counts. You rode here on the Marguerite. Even though it was your first time saving lives with us, you were a natural … and we dreamed we’d see you 8 weeks later and up to 6 times a year.
Us: Easy-on-the-veins nurses sporting crisp white coats, Stanford Blood Center badges. We treated you like royalty, wrapped your arm with Cardinal red Coflex, gave you POG and 2 Mint Condition Pacific Cookie Co. cookies, and sent you on your way. When you left, we secretly crossed our fingers you’d come back. We know a keeper when we see it!
We thought it went so well! But now you haven’t called us, and you’re not returning our calls. It’s been 2-4 years since your last visit. Maybe you’re playing hard to get? You’re probably just insanely busy.
The truth is, we were hoping for a long-term relationship. Good thing we’re not shy about calling you. We don’t even mind if you’ve been seeing other blood centers! And if you’re already one of our regulars, you’re used to hearing from us a lot … and you know it’s because you’re just too special for us to let you slip away.
In all seriousness, people who donated blood just once or twice at SBC are part of a special group of blood donors SBC is very interested in reaching. People who have already donated, even just once, are less likely to face deferrals from low hemoglobin counts or other reasons, and they have what it takes to become regular, repeat donors.
Of course, we understand that there are many reasons that donors drift away. Life gets busy. Sometimes people give blood at a school or work mobile drive, then they move away and they’re not sure where to continue donating. And while it might feel like we’re always calling you or asking you to come in, the reason is that patients are counting on us every day—but the donor base is shrinking. Donors move, or get deferred for reasons like travel to a malaria zone, pregnancy, or illness. For that reason, SBC counts on able donors to step up whenever they can.
If you are one of these tried and true folks, we thank you—you’re the reason we’re able to keep our base of donors strong. Of course, we’re also working to encourage our less active donors to come back, too. We see them not as lapsed donors, but as future regular donors. If you know someone like this—or anyone who might make a great blood donor—please reach out and encourage them to visit us.
SBC needs and appreciates all blood donors, regardless of type, but here at Stanford there is an unusually high demand for Rh-negative and O+ blood. Stanford Hospital is a trauma center for the community, and we are the sole supplier for Stanford Hospital and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.
We look forward to being your partner in saving lives for years to come. We hope to see you again soon! You can even bring a date.