January has been designated as BLOOD DONATION MONTH. The Sickle Cell Association of Richmond - OSCAR encourages us to donate blood. Many sickle cell patients need transfusions monthly. African American donations are very beneficial for African American patients. Donations by African Americans are down 70%. When you donate blood, you help give sickle cell patients and others the blood needed.
Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited, but not contagious, blood disorder where normal round shaped red blood cells change to a crescent (sickled) or “quarter-moon” shape. Sickled shaped cells have difficulty passing through small blood vessels so they often jam up, blocking the flow of blood and oxygen to body parts and tissues causing extreme pain.
Lack of oxygen flow can also damage muscles, bones and internal organs and lead to other serious medical problems. Today, approximately 1 in 500 African American children is born with a serious sickle cell disease, making it the most common long term illness identified in this population.
In Virginia, Approximately 1 in 325 babies are born with sickle cell disease, far higher than the national average. Sickle Cell Disease is among the most prevalent of genetic diseases in the United States. It is one of the most common chronic illnesses found in African Americans. It is estimated that over 4,000 persons in the Commonwealth of Virginia, are potentially living with the disease.
Please call and schedule your appointment to donate blood by calling the Red Cross at
(800) 733-2767 or at www.redcrossblood.org.
Charles Harris Carter,
Chairman, Treasurer and Patient
SICKLE CELL ASSOCIATION OF RICHMOND
P.O. Box 27655
Richmond VA 23261-7655