ACH Hosts Blood Drive to Help Sickle Cell Anemia Sufferers
On Friday, October 3rd, from 2:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />AllianceCommunityHospital and the American Red Cross will host a special blood drive with an emphasis on the need for donors who might be able to help those suffering from Sickle Cell Anemia. This disease is prevalent in the African-American culture â€“ indeed one in 12 African Americans carries the Sickle Cell Anemia trait.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
According to the American Red Cross, normal blood cells are round and flow smoothly through the blood vessels while Sickle Cells are hard, sticky and pointed, which causes them to clog blood flow. When they break apart, the result can be severe pain and other complications that can include stroke, infections, leg ulcers, bone damage and more.
Sickle Cell disease is most common in African-Americans, but it can also affect other nationalities such as Hispanics. Because individuals are helped by compatible blood types, the best treatment comes from a donor with the same genetic background. By having blood from an individual with the same ethnic background, donors can be perfect matches.
â€œBy indicating race on a registration form, a donor's blood can be flagged for testing, to determine whether or not it can be used as a transfusion for someone suffering from Sickle Cell anemia,â€ said Michele Quinn, ACH volunteer department assistant and blood drive committee member.
â€œBlood donations may be used for children and adults who need monthly, weekly or even daily blood transfusions to replace damaged sickle cells with normal red blood cells. These transfusions of healthy red blood cells can eliminate or reduce the risks of organ damage," she said.
"Sickle Cell Anemia is a very painful disease, so collecting blood that will help these individuals is of the utmost importance,â€ said Quinn.
Donors must be at least 17 years of age, weigh no less than 110 pounds and have a photo ID at the time of their donation. Potential donors can go online at www.givelife.org and establish their own profile to schedule an appointment, or they can call the volunteer department (330-596-7822 or 330-596-7821) at the AllianceCommunityHospital and the staff will be happy to schedule an appointment time for donors.
Individuals with questions about the donation process can also contact the volunteer department.
Coupons and gift certificates from local businesses will be awarded to those donating on Friday.