OMAHA, Neb. (August 18, 2014) — The American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to help ensure a stable and diverse blood supply by giving blood in honor of National Sickle Cell Awareness Month this September.
Sickle cell disease is an inherited disease that causes red blood cells to form an abnormal crescent shape. It is estimated that sickle cell disease affects as many as 100,000 people in the U.S. Many of these patients face a lifetime of blood transfusions to help reduce the risk of stroke, damage to major organs and other complications that can arise as a result of sickle cell disease.
Since blood from donors of the same ethnic background as the recipient is less likely to cause complications, the Red Cross must maintain a diverse blood supply. This is particularly important for patients like those with sickle cell disease who may require regular blood transfusions.
For more information or to make an appointment to donate blood, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Here are the area upcoming blood donation opportunities:
Sept. 4 from noon to 6 p.m. at American Legion, 103 N. Norvell in Chambers
Sept. 15 from noon to 6 p.m. at Knights of Columbus, 410 W. Douglas St. in ONeill
Sept. 2 from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Wheeler County 4-H Building, Third St. in Bartlett
How to donate blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.