Sickle Cell Awareness Month
September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month, and the American Red Cross is working to reach more blood donors who are Black to help patients with sickle cell disease. Transfusions are critical to helping the health of those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race or similar ethnicity and blood type are the most effective way to help patients experiencing a health crisis. ,
Sickle cell disease affects over 100,000 people in the United States, and one in every 365 Black or African American babies are born with sickle cell disease. A lifelong illness, this disease can lead to health issues including stroke, eye problems, infections, and episodes of pain. Read more about sickle cell disease. Blood transfusions are key to improving health outcomes for those with sickle cell disease.
The Red Cross is partnering with the Pottstown NAACP to organize two blood drives in the coming weeks—one at the Pottstown YMCA on October 6 from 2 to 6 p.m. and another at the Rickett’s Community Center on October 13 from 2 to 7 p.m.
Blood banks are working hard to cope with an unprecedented shortage in supply, so all donations are needed and appreciated. However, it’s important to increase the number of blood donors from underrepresented ethnic groups. Since transfusions from the same ethnic background as the recipient have less chance of causing complications, transfusions from blood donors of the same ethnic background are most beneficial.