Knowing your sickle cell trait status is important! As part of National Sickle Cell Awareness Month, we are providing a complimentary sickle cell trait screening for African American blood donors. This is a simple test that will be performed from blood you donate.
Join us this September to take advantage of our free sickle cell trait screening test. Results will be mailed to the address listed in your Digital Donor account within three weeks of your donation. Please take a moment to log in and ensure your address is current and properly updated.
Most patients in the United States who suffer from Sickle Cell Disease are Black or of African descent. Blood from donors who share the same race or ethnicity is more likely to be compatible for the special transfusion needs required by these patients. Therefore, having a diverse group of donors is crucial to ensure that patients in local hospitals receive blood that closely aligns with their own. Just as your blood type depends on your parents' blood types, being a match with relatives and those with a similar ancestry can be highly beneficial to patients who require multiple transfusions throughout their lifetime.
Donate blood and be a part of this life-changing cause. Schedule your appointment, and let's make a positive impact in the lives of those affected by sickle cell disease in our community. Your generous blood donation can provide hope and support to patients in need.
What is Sickle Cell Disease?
Approximately 100,000 Americans have sickle cell disease. People who inherit a sickle cell gene from one parent and a normal gene from the other are known to have a sickle cell trait. Having sickle cell trait does not mean having sickle cell disease. Individuals with sickle cell trait typically live a normal life, but they may pass on the trait to their children. If the child receives a trait gene from each parent, he/she can be born with sickle cell disease. The disease impacts the African American and Hispanic populations the most, but can be seen internationally in many different geographic areas.
Sickle cell disease causes red blood cells to become rigid with pointed ends instead of the normal round shape. The cells die early, causing a shortage of red blood cells in these individuals; they can also get stuck in small blood vessels, slowing the flow of blood and causing pain, tissue and organ damage or even strokes.
Quick facts about sickle cell disease
· Currently, the only FDA approved curative therapy for sickle cell disease is bone marrow or stem cell transplant. However, there are many treatments to improve quality of life and many of those involve blood transfusions.
· Blood transfusions are a lifeline for sickle cell patients.
· 1 in 3 African American blood donors are a match for patients with sickle cell disease.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding sickle cell trait or sickle cell disease, please visit the Sickle Cell Disease Coalition at www.scdcoalition.org. The Sickle Cell Coalition is equipped with valuable information and resources to support you in leading a healthy and informed life