Sickle Cell Trait Screening
Sickle Cell Trait Screening
Beginning April 1 and for a limited time, the American Red Cross will expand its testing to include sickle cell trait screening on all donations from self-identified African American donors. This additional screening will help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help sickle cell patients and provide our Black donors an additional health insight during a time when health information has never been more important.
What is sickle cell trait and sickle cell trait screening?
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 it can never become sickle cell disease. However, health experts recommend that individuals learn their sickle cell trait status and consult their medical provider on what it means for them. It is estimated that about 1 in 13 Black or African American babies in the U.S. is born with sickle cell trait, which means they have inherited the sickle cell gene from one of their parents. Individuals with sickle cell trait are eligible to donate blood. Donations from individuals without the trait may be able to help a patient facing a sickle cell crisis.
The Red Cross is screening donations from self-identified African American blood donors for Hemoglobin S, a key indicator of sickle cell trait. This screening, which may provide our donors with valuable health insights, will be part of the blood donation testing process and free of charge to donors.
Note: The Red Cross is offering an initial screening test to provide donors with valuable insight into their sickle cell trait status. The Red Cross is not testing donations to diagnose sickle cell disease.
The results of your sickle cell trait screening will be available by logging in to your Blood Donor account on the Blood Donor App or online within one to two weeks after your donation. You can also find the results of your mini-physical, including temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate, and hemoglobin levels. Sickle cell trait screening is performed on self-identified African American donors who make a blood donation on or after April 1, 2021.
Log in to your donor account on RedCrossBlood.org or the Blood Donor App to see your test results.
Note: The Red Cross is offering an initial screening test to provide donors with valuable insight into their sickle cell trait status. The Red Cross is not offering a confirmatory or diagnostic test.
The Red Cross is screening self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait for any blood donations on or after April 1, 2021.
It is important to note that carrying the sickle cell trait does not mean that an individual has sickle cell disease. In general, individuals who carry the sickle cell trait have no medical conditions related to sickle cell disease.
If donors have additional questions about their sickle cell trait status, they are encouraged to follow-up with their healthcare provider.
The Red Cross follows a high standard of safety and infection control. Learn our enhanced blood donation safety protocols »
Why are African American blood donations important? Learn more »