Greenville patients, including those with sickle cell disease, currently in urgent need of blood
Blood is a necessity for all people at all times. During the ongoing nationwide blood supply shortage, the need for this vital resource is urgent, especially for those living with sickle cell disease (SCD), a genetic blood disorder. This month, Carter BloodCare urges all eligible donors to give blood to help local patients in need, including Texans living with SCD.
September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month, a time to build understanding and community support to help Americans affected by this disease. Healthy red blood cells have a round shape that helps them carry oxygen to all parts of the body. In someone with SCD, however, these cells have a curved shape, much like a farmer’s sickle or crescent moon, which can clog flow through small blood vessels, causing severe pain, infection, strokes and other health issues. This requires regular replacement of SCD patients’ blood with that of healthy donors’ red blood cells.
While more than 95 percent of SCD patients are African American, only about five percent of blood donors are African American. It’s crucial that the community blood supply mirrors the local population to best help all patients. New and returning blood donors are urgently needed to add greater diversity to the existing community supply and to replenish this lifesaving resource for all local patients, such as people receiving cancer treatments, mothers experiencing difficult childbirths, trauma and surgical patients, and more.
Brookshire’s is hosting a blood drive from noon to 5 p.m. Friday, September 24, at 6410 Wesley St. in the parking lot on the Carter BloodCare bus. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Lanie Wright at (903) 571-9667.
Donors can complete the medical history questionnaire online on the day of donation, before arriving to give blood. People who have had COVID-19 vaccinations are still eligible to donate blood.
Carter BloodCare staff and unvaccinated donors are required to wear facial coverings at blood drives or donation centers, except when temperature is taken during screening, or when eating and drinking after the donation. Vaccinated donors are strongly encouraged to continue wearing masks. Carter BloodCare will comply with required mask mandates, as applicable.
Potential blood donors may volunteer at age 16 with parental consent; 17-year-olds can give independently and there is no upper age limit. For more information on donor eligibility and to make an appointment, call/text 800-366-2834 or visit CarterBloodCare.org.
Carter BloodCare believes personal stories are powerful ways to encourage someone to give blood. Share your story at CarterBloodCare.org/tellusyourstory/ and inspire others to donate blood this fall.
About Carter BloodCare
Carter BloodCare is an independent, community blood center providing transfusion resources to more than 180 medical facilities in 50-plus counties of North, Central and East Texas. The non-profit 501(c)(3) organization is one of the largest blood programs in Texas, delivering more than 450,000 blood products annually to meet hospitals’ requirements for their patients. Services include collection, processing, specialized laboratory testing, storage and distribution of blood and blood products.
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