Why we need Black blood donors - Sickle cell awareness month
September is Sickle cell awareness month around the world.
Let’s start off by explaining what sickle cell disease (SCD) is. SCD is an inherited blood disorder where red blood cells are abnormally shaped like a sickle/crescent, which decreases their ability to move through blood vessels smoothly. This disease is the fastest growing genetic disorder in the UK, it is estimated that between 13,000-15,000 people in the UK have sickle cell and 300 babies born with the blood disorder each year.
This disorder has been found to be more common in black people as people from this ethnic group are more likely to have the rare blood sub-group Ro that many Black sickle cell patients need. The NHS has issued an urgent call for more Black people to give blood to meet increasing demand for Black African, Black Caribbean or mixed ethnicity donors.
There are currently 12,633 Black and mixed Black blood donors, which is around 1.5% of the total donor base. By donating blood, you could help up to three people every time you give blood. To find out more information, visit: https://www.blood.co.uk/
Whether your donation is used in an emergency, after surgery or as a part of a regular transfusion, you could help up someone.