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Stanford's Blood Center helps non-donors face fear of giving blood

- By Brooke Krannich

STANFORD, Calif. - Would you like to donate blood but are afraid of needles? The Stanford Blood Center is sponsoring a panel discussion at 7 p.m. May 21 to address one of the most elusive issues in blood donor recruitment: Fear. The panelists will explore different perspectives regarding the fear of medical procedures in general, and blood donation in particular.

The need for blood donations increases each year as hospitals grow larger, but the number of eligible donors stays the same. "Only 37 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood," said center marketing manager John Williams. "In the Bay Area, only 3 percent actually donate. We are reaching out to those who haven't come in because of a fear of the donation process."

Panelists include:

  • Medical school faculty members Wesley Alles, PhD; John Farquhar, MD; and Michelle Brown, PhD, who will discuss the scientific and psychological experience of fear and overcoming fear.
  • Brennah Payne, an 11-year-old who was in a car accident at age 7, will walk attendees through the nine surgeries and multiple blood transfusions she underwent at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.
  • Longtime donor Linda Johnson will talk about the importance of making donating a part of your life.
  • An apprehensive potential donor, Daniel Chui, will share his thought process and make a decision about whether he will donate blood for the first time.

Mary Hayes, training supervisor at the Stanford Blood Center, will explain the extensive program she administers to staff who perform blood-collection procedures.

A patient at Stanford Hospital who recently underwent a liver transplant needed 158 units of blood. "That means it took donations from 158 people from all over the Bay Area to save this patient," said center spokesperson Brooke Krannich. "Many people are apprehensive about trying something new - especially something like giving blood. We hope to show our community that it isn't as scary as they might think, and this is the best place to give because our staff are highly trained and donations go directly to patients like Brennah in local hospitals."

The "Fearbusting" event will take place at the blood center location at 3373 Hillview Ave. in Palo Alto. Espresso and snacks will be served. No blood donations will be performed. Call (650) 723-7831 or toll-free (888) 723-7831 to get directions. For more information please visit

Stanford Medicine integrates research, medical education and health care at its three institutions - Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford Health Care, and Stanford Children's Health. For more information, please visit the Office of Communications website at

2022 ISSUE 1

Understanding the world within us

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