Red Cross: Critical Need for African-American Donors
The Red Cross is once again issuing a call for African-Americans to donate blood. The organization says they are critically needed to support sickle cell patients during the coronavirus pandemic. Ronnika McFall says having a diverse group of donors is essential in meeting specific needs.
“Blood transfused to patients with rare blood types like those with Sickle Cell must be matched very closely to reduce the risk of complications.”
McFall says blood transfusions can greatly improve the quality of life for Sickle Cell patients.
“Patients can experience severe pain, tissue and organ damage, acute anemia, or even stroke,” according to McFall. “Furthermore, sickle cell patients are at risk of serious complications from coronavirus infections and blood transfusions can be a life-saving treatment for those patients.”
According to the Red Cross, since mid-March, the number of African-Americans donation blood has dropped by more than half.
“So if you are feeling well, and you are healthy and you are healthy able to come out and donate blood, please make an appointment to give by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, you can visit RedCrossBlood.org by entering your zip code to find the nearest drive, and you can call 1-800-Red Cross (1-800-733-2767).”
The agency says there are about 100,000 people in the U.S. living with Sickle Cell Anemia, most of whom are of African or Latino descent.