The need for blood is constant. Help the American Red Cross meet the needs of all patients by donating blood during September – National Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month. Many patients need a one-time transfusion, but patients who battle sickle cell disease face a lifetime of blood transfusions.
Sickle cell disease causes red blood cells to form in an abnormal crescent shape, which doesn’t move easily through the blood vessels. One of the most common treatments for sickle cell disease is regular blood transfusions, which can help reduce the risks of stroke, damage to major organs that can lead to severe infections, and other complications that can arise. Currently, there is no cure for sickle cell disease.
Transfusions from blood donors of the same ethnic background are often most beneficial because they have less chance of causing complications for the recipient. However, people who carry the sickle cell trait should know that they are not disqualified from donating blood for that reason.