Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited blood disorder that causes anemia, lung and tissue damage, strokes and terrible pain. It is estimated that over 80,000 Americans have Sickle Cell Disease. 90% of all Sickle Cell Disease patients in the United States occur in people of African descent.
Although there is no cure, Sickle Cell Disease can be managed through blood transfusions. Children with Sickle Cell Disease often receive blood transfusions on an ongoing basis, making it more important for them to receive the best match for their bodies.
To ensure that your blood donation goes to help a Sickle Cell patient, please identify yourself as African American or Black and allow our blood collection staff to place a blue tag on your blood donation. The blue tag will notify our processing lab that this blood donation is designated for the Sickle Cell Donor Program.
If your blood is not a match for the Sickle Cell Donor Program, it is stored until it is needed. If the blood approaches its expiration date and has not been needed by a Sickle Cell patient, it will be used by another patient in need. The American Red Cross strives to ensure every blood donation helps a patient in need.
Do you have a business, church or other organization that is majority African American and would be interested in hosting a Blue Tag blood drive? Please click here to contact us.
Would you like to share your story of how you have been impacted by Sickle Cell Disease? Please click here to contact us.