Fight sickle cell this Black History Month

Theo, a young boy who lives with sickle cell

People with sickle cell who receive regular transfusions need on average 100 blood donors a year to stay alive.

This year we urgently need 12,000 new Black donors to regularly give blood to treat sickle cell.

What is sickle cell?

Sickle cell is a life threatening blood disorder that mainly affects people with a Black African or Black Caribbean background.

It affects the development of red blood cells, causing them to be sickle shaped. These cells can clump together causing extreme pain know as a 'crisis'.

These crises can cause stroke, blindness and organ failure.

Why we need more giving types from Black communities

Many people living with sickle cell require a blood transfusion every 4-6 weeks to make them feel well.

When they receive blood from a donor with the same ethnicity as them, it provides the best possible treatment.

Currently only 50% of blood transfusions given to people with sickle cell are the best possible match and demand from hospitals is growing.

This is why we need more donors from Black African and Black Caribbean backgrounds.

Read more about the supply and demand of Ro blood in our latest report (PDF 2MB)

How you can help

Donating blood is safe and easy.

In 1 hour, you can save up to 3 lives:

  • Step 1 - When you arrive at your appointment, complete a health check questionnaire and drink 500ml of water.
  • Step 2 - Have a chat about your health with a friendly member of the team to make sure it's safe for you to give
  • Step 3 - Take a seat and give blood for 5-10 minutes.
  • Step 4 - Enjoy a free drink and snack while you rest for 15 minute
  • Step 5 - You're all done. Your donation will help save up to 3 lives.

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