Give blood during Sickle Cell Awareness Month
Help the American Red Cross meet the needs of patients by donating blood during September, National Sickle Cell Awareness Month. Sickle cell anemia is a disease that affects around 70,000 in the U.S., most of them of African descent but also some of Spanish, French, Italian, Greek and Turkish descent.
Sickle cell disease causes red blood cells to form in an abnormal crescent shape. One of the most common treatments for sickle cell disease is regular blood transfusions, which can help reduce the risk of stroke, damage to major organs that can lead to severe infections, and other complications. There is currently no cure for sickle cell disease.
It’s important that blood donors reflect the ethnic diversity of the patients who receive their blood. Patients with sickle cell disease — primarily in the African-American community — are less likely to have complications from blood donated by someone within their racial and ethnic groups. The Red Cross is committed to maintaining a diverse base of blood donors to help ensure that all blood types are available for patients with serious medical needs.