Stanford Blood Center Urges January Donations

Attention News Desk: Press Release (for immediate release)
Michele Gassaway (650) 723-8237
Michelle Brandt (650) 723-0272

STANFORD, Calif. - With National Volunteer Blood Donor Month lasting through January, Stanford Blood Center has joined forces with the American Association of Blood Banks to urge every eligible person to donate.

Throughout the first month of the year, new donors are needed to ensure a safe and plentiful blood supply. January is traditionally the highest blood utilization month. Slick roads and less daylight in winter can lead to increased traumas from car accidents. In addition, elective surgeries are often delayed until after the holidays, and since hospitals try to allow chronic patients to go home for the holidays, there may be a greater need for blood when they return.

"January is a perfect time to ask people to make a resolution to save someone's life," said Michele Gassaway of the Stanford Blood Center. "This resolution is easy to stick to, doesn't take a lot of time, and makes a big difference to a person in need."

The nonprofit center supplies blood products to Stanford Hospital & Clinics, a leader in transplant surgeries and trauma treatment, and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, which uses high levels of blood products to treat pediatric liver transplants and heart surgeries. "If someone donates blood, they're just as important as the surgeon doing the operation," said Frank L. Hanley, MD, professor of surgery and director of Packard's Pediatric Heart Center. "They're part of a team."

A unique feature of the Stanford Blood Center is its integration with research programs that concentrate on causes, prevention and treatment of blood diseases and blood-borne disorders. The research helps patients by providing direct and immediate application of important medical advances made by Stanford scientists and their colleagues. With three research labs, Stanford Blood Center has also developed innovative treatments along with techniques that make transfusions safer.

More than 34,000 blood donations are made annually through the center. Each donation is separated into platelets, plasma and red cells, potentially helping up to three different patients.

Donors should be in good health with no cold or flu symptoms. They should also eat well prior to donation, drink fluids and present photo identification at the time of donation. The donation process takes about one hour. Donors are urged to call (650) 723-7831 or toll-free, (888) 723-7831, to make an appointment, learn hours of operation and get directions. For more information, please visit

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