Stanford Blood Center (SBC) celebrated the grand opening of its newest blood donation center in Campbell City, South Bay on Jan. 31. after a soft opening on Oct. 22, 2018. By opening a location closer to donors, SBC hopes to make donation more accessible and help fill the need for blood products, medical products made from human blood.
The new center accompanies two other donation centers in Menlo Park and Mountain View. It contains 12 beds used for donations and also includes a separate administrative section used by staff for work such as tele-recruitments of donors.
South Bay was chosen as the location of the new center because 75 percent of SBC’s donors are from the South Bay.
“By coming closer to where [the donors] live, it has positively impacted us and donors,” Bradley Burton, the Center’s Donor Services Director, told The Daily.
Each SBC location accepts donations of whole blood, apheresis, plasma and platelets.
Though there was initially concern over a large transition of donors from the other two centers to the new, more conveniently located center, Burton said he hasn’t seen “a cannibalization of [donation] rates at the other two centers” and that there are “a lot more first-time donors in this location as well.” According to the Center’s statistics, total blood donation rates have increased since the new center opened.
In an on-site interview with The Daily, Burton warned against the common perception that there is only a need for blood donations in times of emergency, saying “every two seconds” there are people in need of donor blood.
Blood donated at the Stanford centers is redistributed to patients in the surrounding community.
“We are a community blood center. It’s local donors coming and helping local patients,” Burton said.
While there is currently a large need for blood products of all blood types, Burton said, there is an especially critical need for O- blood, which is often used for trauma and pediatric patients. O-blood is the ‘universal donor,’ meaning people of all other blood types can safely receive the blood.
Stanford Blood Center media representative Vanessa Merina echoed Burton’s comments on the importance of blood donations.
“Even if you don’t know your blood type, please come in to donate,” she urged in a recent press release. “All blood types are always welcome and needed.”
Donating blood to the Stanford Blood Center takes about an hour, and the actual blood extraction takes less than 10 minutes. After the extraction is finished, volunteers give patients food and water to help maintain blood sugar, and volunteers often keep patients company while they rest.
The Stanford Blood Center is also aiming to make blood donations more accessible for Stanford community members. For example, Stanford Blood Center is collaborating with BeWell Stanford, an employee incentive program that encourages families to commit to health and wealth, to co-host an on-campus blood drive on March 1.
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