Stanford Blood Center is encouraging Palo Alto High School students who are 16 years or older to donate their blood to prepare for the unexpected, as an influx of visitors is coming to the Bay Area for the Super Bowl on Sunday in Santa Clara.
With Super Bowl 50 just around the corner, an estimated one million people are expected to visit the Bay Area, according to KQED News. To prepare for any mass casualties that could occur as a result of the Super Bowl, Stanford Health Care — one of the two level one trauma centers in the Santa Clara County — hopes to keep its blood inventory at 20 percent above its usual stock, according to Loren Magana, head of public affairs and communications at Stanford Blood Center, where Stanford Health Care’s blood supply comes from.
The blood center is in critical need of donations as it is currently short on blood inventory. According to Magana, the blood center often experiences a shortage in donations during the winter season because many regular donors are sick with colds or the flu. In addition, recent medical procedures have used up a significant amount of blood, making the blood center’s shortage even worse. Magana explains that while the blood center is in dire need of -AB, -B and -O blood donations, all blood types are needed and welcomed.
As it takes up to three days after donation to get blood ready for transfusion, it is imperative that people donate their blood soon in order for it to be ready in time for the Super Bowl, according to Magana.
Junior Sophie Pedersen encourages all eligible Paly students to donate their blood.
“The reason I want to donate blood is that it just seems like an easy way to help people and I think I have the blood type the donation center is looking for,” Pedersen said. “I would encourage anybody who has the time to do it because [the blood center] is experiencing a blood shortage.”
According to Magana, donations take approximately one hour, and students who wish to donate must be at least 16 years old with parental consent or 17 years old or older without parental consent. Donors must also be in good health, eat well and drink plenty of fluids before donating their blood. For more information regarding donor eligibility, visit this web page. The blood center also asks that eligible students bring legal photo identification to the donation center, and if only 16 years old, either bring this form or have their parents accompany them.
To schedule an appointment, students can call the blood center at 888-723-7831, or visit its website. Donations can be made at the donor center, which is open on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. and located at 3373 Hillview Ave.