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Help patients with sickle cell disease in September

City of Columbia to proclaim September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month at
Benedict College Blood Drive

COLUMBIA, SC, (September 23, 2021) — In the U.S., more than 100,000 people are estimated to be living with sickle cell disease, most of whom are of African descent. During Sickle Cell Awareness Month, the American Red Cross is emphasizing the importance of a diverse blood supply to help meet the needs of those with sickle cell disease, the most common inherited blood disorder in the country.

Blood transfusion is an essential sickle cell treatment
Sickle cell disease causes red blood cells to be hard and crescent-shaped instead of soft and round. As a result, blood has difficulty flowing smoothly and carrying oxygen to the rest of the body, which may lead to severe pain, tissue and organ damage, acute anemia and even strokes. A patient with sickle cell disease can require multiple blood transfusions per year throughout their lifetime to treat complications from the disease.

Blood given to those with sickle cell disease must be matched closely to reduce the risk of complications. A patient in need of blood is most likely to find a compatible match from a donor of the same race or similar ethnicity. Eligible donors of all blood types are urged to make an appointment to donate at the Benedict College Blood Drive.

 

 

Benedict College – Swinton Center
Tuesday, September 28 from 11 am – 4 pm
1600 Harden Street, Columbia, SC 29204
*Proclamation by Mayor Stephen Benjamin at 1 pm*

 

 

 

Spokespeople available for interviews:
Rod Tolbert, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross of South Carolina
Roslyn Clark Artis, JD, EdD, President and CEO, Benedict College
Rebecca Jordan,Executive Director of the Central Chapter, Red Cross of South Carolina
Dr. Vareva Harris, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management, Benedict College
Jamarra Williams, Junior at Benedict College, Founder of Benedict’s Red Cross Club, and American Red Cross Collegiate Leadership Program scholarship recipient

 

The Red Cross encourages individuals to make an appointment to give blood by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. More information about blood and diversity is available on the Red Cross website.

About blood donation
To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), 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 must meet certain height and weight requirements.

Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass®. With RapidPass®, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass®, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.

Health insights for donors
At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is also screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease. Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease.

Donors can expect to receive sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.

Blood drive safety
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

 

 

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