The American Red Cross is urging the public to donate blood to help patients with sickle cell disease during Sickle Cell Awareness Month in September.
Sickle cell disease is the most common inherited blood disorder in the U.S, according to the press release. It distorts soft, round blood cells and turns them hard and crescent-shaped, which can cause severe pain.
“When cells harden, they can get caught in blood vessels, potentially leading to stroke and organ failure,” said Tony Briggs, regional executive of the Central California Region. “Transfusions provide healthy blood cells, unblocking blood vessels and delivering oxygen, minimizing crises patients with sickle cell may face.”
Sometimes, people with sickle cells may develop an immune response against donors' blood that is not closely matched to their own. However, one in three black donors is a match for people with sickle cell disease because most Black people have unique red blood cell structures that are not often found in other donor populations, according to American Red Cross.
American Red Cross will be hosting two blood drives in September at 2707 State St. The dates and times are as follows:
- Sept. 12 from 1-7 p.m.
- Sept. 26 from 1-7 p.m.
Click here for more information.