Blood bank critically low on Type O-

Donors sought to supply hospitals with "universal" blood type

Stanford Blood Center on Monday asked for urgent Type O negative blood donations because of a less than two-day supply remaining for local hospitals.

In the past two weeks, partner hospitals used about 900 pints of blood to support three transplant patients, multiple cardiovascular patients, pediatric patients with bleeding disorders and others, the blood bank said.

Blood banks across the country are experiencing shortages because of the winter flu and cold season, but Stanford Blood Center said it has been especially impacted by high usage at Bay Area hospitals.

Type O negative blood is considered the "universal donor" since it can be used by patients with any blood type. The blood type is relatively rare, and the blood bank is also accepting all other donors.

"Even if you do not have O- blood or don't know your blood type, we need your support right now," blood bank spokeswoman Vanessa Merina said in a news release. "All blood types are needed to support local patients on an ongoing basis."

Donation centers are located in Mountain View, Menlo Park and Campbell. Donors can schedule a same-day appointment by calling (888) 723-2831 or visiting

— Bay City News Service

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Like this comment
Posted by Reader
a resident of another community
on Mar 5, 2019 at 10:39 am

Didn't they CLOSE a blood bank recently? And now they need blood. What a surprise.

Like this comment
Posted by Whismanian
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 5, 2019 at 2:21 pm

I usually donate, but one of the reasons I can't is because ive been near others who have had colds, etc, recently. It's not just yourself who has had a cold. Otherwise I'd donate every month. I feel bad that I can't but it's one of their stipulations, if you've been near/close to others who have had colds/the flu, etc., then you can't donate. Also if you've had cancer, I had to wait a year. After a tattoo, it used to be a year. Not sure what it is now. I lived in England but just made it here before the can't donate deadline, which I think was 1980.

6 people like this
Posted by Darin
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2019 at 3:10 pm

Darin is a registered user.


Technically, yes. They closed their Palo Alto center, converting the space to administrative use.

However, they didn't close their Palo Alto center until they were ready to open their South Bay (Campbell) center, so they still have the same number of centers. So no, that has nothing to do with the current shortage of type O- blood.

5 people like this
Posted by Stanford Blood Center
a resident of another community
on Mar 5, 2019 at 3:10 pm

Thanks very much to those who have commented about our recent call for blood donations. We're happy to answer your questions!

"Reader" — We did close our blood center location in Palo Alto, but only because we had recently opened a brand new location in Campbell, CA, which has brought a donor center closer to (and made it more convenient for) the majority of our existing blood donors. In addition, we have two other donor centers in Menlo Park and Mountain View, and hold over 500 mobile blood drives per year.

Whismanian — It's wonderful that you are cautious and are thinking about the patients who will receive your blood. We share your concerns for their well-being. The good news is that, if you yourself are not experiencing cold/flu symptoms, you don't need to stay away simply because someone close to you isn't feeling well. You will not be deferred for that reason. Likewise, if your tattoo was obtained in a licensed California facility, there is no longer any deferral for that reason. There are some travel deferrals, and you can get more information on eligibility on our website ( or by calling us at 888-723-7831. Certain other factors can impact eligibility (like some cancers, medications, etc.), so if you have any questions, the easiest thing to do is call and we'll do the research for you!

Thank you,
Stanford Blood Center

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