Sleeves Up for Sickle Cell

Sleeves up for Sickle Cell.

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a genetic disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. In the United States alone, it is estimated that more than 100,000 people live with this condition. Unfortunately, there is no cure for SCD, but one of the most effective and common treatments is red blood cell transfusion. However, finding a compatible blood donor match can be challenging for people with sickle cell disease. That is why we are highlighting the importance of being a blood donor during National Blood Donation Month!1,2

This or That

Have you donated blood before?

How do blood transfusions help patients with SCD?

Blood transfusions have several benefits for people with SCD, such as:1-3

  • Blood transfusions help those with SCD by increasing the number of normal red blood cells in their body, which increases the supply of oxygen through the body and can help unblock clogged blood vessels.
  • Blood transfusions can help reduce the risk of sickle cell-related complications, including stroke. Transfusions can also help treat acute chest syndrome (ACS), the leading cause of death in children with SCD. Transfusions can also reduce symptoms of severe anemia.
  • Transfusions can be especially helpful in children with SCD.

Half of patients had at least one blood transfusion in the past year.

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Importance of Black donors

Black blood donation is critical in the fight against sickle cell disease. The best blood match is often someone who shares the same ethnic background. In the case of sickle cell disease, this means that Black blood donors are the most compatible match for Black patients. Given this, people with sickle cell disease rely on Black blood donors when they need a transfusion as this close blood type match can lower their risk of developing complications from transfusions.4

In addition, Black blood donation is essential for maintaining an adequate blood supply for all patients. Blood donations are always in high demand, and it is crucial to have a diverse range of blood types and ethnicities represented in the donor pool. This ensures that patients receive the best possible match for their needs.4

How can you help?

If you’re interested in donating blood, be sure to check the eligibility requirements at The American Red Cross. You can easily schedule an appointment at a donation center or pop-up location near you through their app (text "BLOODAPP" to 80880), website, or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS ( 1-800-733-2767).5

Anyone who donates blood has a chance to help people with sickle cell disease. Remember, donating blood is one of the best ways to support and help your friends and family with SCD. Your healthy red blood cells can make a big difference today! Just check out how this sickle cell warrior felt after receiving a blood transfusion:

Want to read more about blood donation? Check out these articles on blood donation!

Treatment results and side effects can vary from person to person. This treatment information is not meant to replace professional medical advice. Talk to your doctor about what to expect before starting and while taking any treatment.
This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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