Blood donations to help those with Sickle Cell Disease

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 7:11 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month. Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited blood disorder that causes a lack of healthy red blood cells.

With the disease we see red blood cells that are supposed to be round or a circle shape turn into crescent shapes, this causes pain for those with Sickle Cell.

Blood transfusions are an effective treatment to prevent complications. They can also help patients relieve the pain that sickle cell patients experience.

Although blood type or compatibility is not usually based on race, African Americans are more likely to have the select rare blood types needed to support sickle cell patients.

Blood donations take about an hour. Vitalant is encouraging all walks of life and communities to donate blood. It can save a life.

Scott Edwards with Vitalant shared how blood donations can be a big help to this demographic that is in need,

“I think the biggest thing is you never know who you’re going to help when you donate blood, it’s important that if you’re healthy and you are feeling good donate blood and when it comes to sickle cell awareness. We’re reaching out to Black Americans and Latino community and we need to make sure we have the variety of blood components on the shelves,” Edwards said.

Vitalant shared a lot is happening in transfusion medicine. Sickle cell patients need 1 to 10 units of blood per transfusion, so donations can make a big impact.

For more information on Sickle Cell Awareness Month, click here.

Click here to make an appointment with Vitalant.