Saving lives with quality blood services in partnership with the community
On November 15, 1972 at the official dedication of the San Diego Blood Bank headquarters previously located on Upas St., the theme heard throughout the morning was that a total community effort will sustain the San Diego Blood Bank. Speaking at the dedication ceremony, Dr. Jonas A. Salk noted, “This building and the organization which made it possible evince a concern and respect for the human individual that is self-evident. The Blood Bank is a sign of the enormous health and strength in the community.”
Again on June 22, 2011, as the current headquarters building was dedicated at 3636 Gateway Center Ave., blood donors Jerry Sanders, Mayor of the City of San Diego, Greg Cox, San Diego County Supervisor, and blood recipient and former Chargers Hall of Fame kicker Rolf Benirschke re-emphasized the need for total commitment to maintaining the community’s blood supply through the San Diego Blood Bank.
In the early years, the San Diego Blood Bank collected stored and distributed blood products to hospitals in San Diego County just as it does today. Unlike those early years however, when the San Diego Blood Bank paid donors, the total amount of blood now brought into the San Diego Blood Bank is provided by a 100% volunteer donor effort. In 1968, 4,000 units of blood a month supplied the needs of our local hospitals. We now process approximately 10,000 units of blood per month and serve hospitals throughout Southern California.
The San Diego Blood Bank now also provides the Southern California region’s hospitals with a wide range of blood banking services. These include blood collection, component preparation, plateletpheresis, plasmapheresis, leukapheresis, washed blood, frozen blood, autologous storage, designated donation services and a reference laboratory. The Cell Therapy Program of the San Diego Blood Bank operates the Cord Blood Program providing lifesaving stem cell transplants to patients worldwide.
Today, the San Diego Blood Bank is growing to meet the changing needs of our health care community. We now supply hospitals in four Southern California counties. These counties include San Diego, Imperial, Orange, and Los Angeles. Frozen blood laboratories are now operated to accommodate storage of frequently used and rare blood types, and for patients who wish to donate blood for their own future use. We also offer continuing education for the blood bank community.
The San Diego Blood Bank is a certified 501 c3 non-profit organization serving hospitals in the San Diego, San Bernadino, Los Angeles and Orange Counties. We are also the primary provider of blood to Rady Children’s Hospital – San Diego. We are the safety net for our regional blood needs. Every year, more than 120,000 units of blood provided by the San Diego Blood Bank are transfused into patients of all ages, socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds throughout San Diego County. These patients are struggling with life threatening medical conditions including cancer and other blood disorders, severe burns, organ transplants, emergency surgery, trauma, childbirth complications and more. The San Diego Blood Bank is also the California Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) designated Southern California Regional Operations Center for the distribution of blood to Southern California in the event of a major disaster or act of terrorism in the State of California.