Importance of African-American Blood Donors

Why is it important that African- Americans give blood?

Blood that closely matches a patient’s is less likely to be rejected by the patient and can mean fewer complications after a transfusion. Genetically-similar blood is superior for people who need repeated blood transfusions, for conditions like sickle cell anemia.

Increasing African-American donations is vital because blood types O and B, the blood types of about 70 percent of African-Americans, are the blood types most in demand. Your blood donation can help African-Americans suffering from diseases such as sickle cell anemia, cancer and heart disease.

Tackling Sickle Cell Anemia

Sickle cell anemia affects more than 70,000 people in the United States. Most of them are African-American. Many need blood transfusions every few weeks to help treat the effects of the disease. Blood from donors of the same ethnic background decreases the chance of causing complications for patients. The Blue Tie Tag Program in the American Red Cross Northern California Blood Services Region allows African-American blood donor to self-identify and ask that their blood to be used to help sickle cell patients in need.

Learn more about blood and blood donation