Our Blood Saves Lives
Please schedule your blood donation today.
Please schedule your blood
More than 100,000 individuals in the U.S. suffer from sickle cell disease – an enduring and often invisible condition. The disease disproportionately affects individuals of African descent, many of whom rely on routine blood transfusions as an essential treatment to prevent life-threatening complications. In fact, a single patient with sickle cell disease can require thousands of blood transfusions throughout their lifetime.
Why Are African American Blood Donations Important
Patients with sickle cell disease may rely on regular blood transfusions throughout their lives to prevent sickle cell complications such as organ and tissue damage, severe pain, and strokes. Unfortunately, frequent transfusions can make finding compatible blood types more difficult when patients develop an immune response against blood from donors that is not closely matched to the recipient. These antibodies can lead to severe complications. One in 3 African American blood donors are a match for people with sickle cell disease. Are you the one? Schedule your blood donation appointment now.
About Sickle Cell Disease
- Sickle cell disease is the most common genetic blood disease in the U.S., most commonly affecting individuals of African descent.
- The disease causes red blood cells to be hard and crescent-shaped instead of soft and round, making it difficult for blood to blood smoothly and carry oxygen throughout the body.
- Blood transfusions help relieve pain during a crisis and can prevent other complications by increasing the number of healthy red blood cells in the body.
Sickle Cell Disease vs. Sickle Cell Trait
- People with one sickle gene and one normal gene have sickle cell trait.
- Sickle cell trait is inherited, and many individuals are not aware that they carry this trait.
- Sickle cell trait is not sickle cell disease, and in most cases, individuals with sickle cell trait do not experience any symptoms of the disease.
- Approximately 1 in 13 babies who are Black or African American are born with sickle cell trait.
It is essential to know your trait status. All donors who self-identify as African American will be screened for Hemoglobin S, a key indicator of sickle cell trait. Schedule your appointment today.
How Do Race and Ethnicity Affect Blood
Blood types fall into four major groups: A, B, AB, and O. Some patients require an even closer match than the main blood types. If a patient receives a transfusion that is not a close match, they may form antibodies. Individuals who receive frequent blood transfusions, such as patients with sickle cell disease, need to receive the most compatible match possible.
- Antigens are a substance on red blood cells that help determine blood type.
- There are more than 600 known antigens, and some are unique to specific racial and ethnic groups.
- One in 3 African American blood donors is a match for a patient with sickle cell disease.
Learn more about rare blood types, and the importance of a diverse blood supply.
- Prior to donating blood, all donors will receive a free health screening. Learn how this health screening can provide insights into your health status.
- Data shows that blood donors who are Black are more likely to be deferred due to low hemoglobin levels. Learn about the importance of iron and blood donation.
- Learn how to prepare for your blood donation, and what to expect.
Ready to help save a life?
Our Blood Saves Lives.
One in 3 African American blood donors is a match for a patient with sickle cell disease. Are you that one? Schedule your appointment to donate today.