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Stanford Blood Center seeks public's help with donations

Original post made on Aug 16, 2017

A recent drop in blood donations has led the Stanford Blood Center to ask Bay Area residents to donate blood to help meet the needs of local hospitals.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, August 16, 2017, 1:21 PM

Comments (7)

Posted by 0- Donor
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 16, 2017 at 5:41 pm

And Stanford turns around and sells the blood to other institutions for how much?
I have always wanted to know how much they sell my 0- blood for.
The lab techs claim they don't know.
Stanford hospital is a non-profit institution, but they make millions of dollars.
How much do they charge their big clients for a pint of 0 negative clean packed cells, or plasma?
I'm Type 0 - (Negative) and negative for all the STD antibodies, CMV, hepatitis, etc which are prevalent in today's society.
I think they should be open about this. They are clearly making a huge profit on our donations.

Posted by Some of Stanford's shortage is self-inflicted
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 17, 2017 at 12:31 pm

Sorry to say it, but that's the reality. I've donated for many years (with a maximally-usable type), in recent years at Stanford. Stanford made it increasingly challenging, botching willing donation opportunities: first via careless scheduling, then clumsy blood-drawing personnel (when you've donated a lot, more needle skill can be required to reduce cumulative vein scarring). Email about such issues to Stanford Blood Center's correct contact address went unanswered, until I escalated it to the medical director. Finally, Stanford disqualified my donation after a false-positive result for one of many disease screenings routinely performed on donated blood. Stanford acknowledged in writing that it was a false positive: they followed up with a more accurate second test on the same donated blood, which ruled out the disease flagged by the first test. I forwarded Stanford's information to my regular doctor (who knows I'm disease-free); he checked with an infectious-diseases expert colleague, who reported that the second test Stanford had performed is medically definitive: no physician would consider me a risky donor after that second test's result. So by external medical review, I'm a highly useful donor, but Stanford (with its "procedures" set evidently not by doctors but zealous lawyers) refuses my blood. They say I can "requalify" by a laborious process, which, combined with past experiences, offers an unencouraging uphill battle for what's fundamentally a favor to Stanford (beneficiary to the order $1000 financial value per whole-blood donation). A friend had arguably worse experience, being a very frequent (pheresis method) donor; reporting a badly botched donation episode that might have been taken as useful feedback to Stanford management, it produced instead a condescending denial-of-problem telephone call from a senior Blood Center physician -- which doesn't enhance Stanford's appeal, and is a dramatic enough story that it has some legs.

Posted by Oldster
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 17, 2017 at 1:58 pm

Donated once at Stanford. Will never do so again. Treated like a non-sentient robot. Blood techs were not highly qualified. Only way I'd donate again is directed donation for someone I know to reduce their actual transfusion costs or for someone I know who needed my disease-free blood.

Bottom line, Stanford has a large pool of healthy college student donors who do it for free in return for perhaps some minimal beer money for a dorm party to "pay" dorm students who do a blood drive, and young techies in local companies who want feel-good community service points. Hence, Stanford only has blood shortages when its college is not in session.

Posted by Brit
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 17, 2017 at 2:09 pm

I donated many times before I came to America. Now my blood isn't good enough. British blood is unwanted and undesirable.

Posted by Blood Donor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 17, 2017 at 5:10 pm

I donated a pint of O+ blood four times a year for 12 years.

Then, when I needed to donate autologous blood in advance for a very long, dangerous spine surgery, Stanford charged me $450/pint to draw and store my blood-- I had to donate 2 pints in the month before surgery.

Then the Stanford Hospital charged me $800/pint to give my own blood back to me-- and they waited until four days AFTER surgery to do so, when my blood volume was dangerously low, causing my blood pressure to tank. Due to the fact that Stanford waited so long, my own two pints of blood were insufficient, forcing me to pay for a third pint of someone else's blood. That added another $1200 to what became a $300,000 bill for ten days of hospitalization!

I could have been released three days sooner had Stanford given my autologous blood back to me within the first 48 hours after surgery!

Taken to task by my insurance company for neglectful care, over-charges and double billings-- as well as billing for things I never received ( physical therapy, nightly IV refills, etc).

I know why so many insurance companies no longer cover Stanford!!

Posted by Stanford Blood Center
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 25, 2017 at 12:30 pm

Thanks to you all for your feedback. Stanford Blood Center, LLC (SBC) is a small, independent community blood center that provides blood products and testing services to several Bay Area hospitals, including Stanford Health Care and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, among others. We are exceptionally grateful to all of our donors for their generous gift of blood donation.

To be clear: we do not now, nor have we ever charged money for blood donation — with the exception of autologous (or “self-directed”) donations, which require a specialized process for collection and storage. We rely entirely on a volunteer (unpaid) donor base, which is widely considered in the blood banking industry to be a safer and more sustainable solution (Web Link for maintaining the community's blood supply. We do offer thank-you rewards to our donors in appreciation for their time and altruistic gift.

Our Collections staff are highly regarded in our organization and beloved by our donors for their professionalism, warmth and attention to the donor experience. This is a point of pride for the Blood Center. If you have had a negative donation experience, we would love the opportunity to correct any poor perception you may have of SBC, our staff, or our commitment to our donors. Please reach out to us at or 650-736-7786, so we can connect you to the appropriate person to help.

Stanford Blood Center — like all blood centers in the U.S.— is required to follow FDA regulations (Guidances for Industry) with regard to blood collection and testing, including deferrals due to travel to endemic regions or other causes. You can learn more about common reasons for blood donation deferral on our website (Web Link and view all of the FDA Guidances on their website:(Web Link

Remember: less than 10% of people who can donate blood actually do. Local patients count on all of the help we can give them. We hope you’ll continue to provide lifesaving blood products to those in need. We greatly appreciate your service to our community!

With gratitude,
Stanford Blood Center

Posted by Please Explain
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 25, 2017 at 6:03 pm

So please explain why, after giving blood, autologous or otherwise, a donor is strongly encouraged ( just short of forced) to leave half an hour afterward??

When I volunteered at the RedCross donation center, donors were REQUIRED to remain for an hour--or until fit to drive home!

Both times that I donated blood to Stanford, I was very woozy after half an hour of rest and juice. However, I was told that someone else needed my seat.

The first time I barely made it home before passing out-- literally fainting-- in my kitchen. The second time I arranged for a Lyft ride, to and from the Stanford site. Unfortunately, I vomited in the poor man's car before passing out in the back seat. He naturally took me straight to emergency-- a fiasco in itself ( as well as a nice fat bill). Then my husband had to leave work to take me home several hours later. The attending doctor's consensus was that I had been released to leave too soon after donating a pint of blood. There is a two week recovery period after doing so, and most people should not even return to work the same day, according to him.

There won't be a third donation!

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