LifeSource Honors Black History Month in February
In honor of Black History Month, LifeSource is highlighting the importance of blood donation among African-Americans. Thirty-seven percent of the population is eligible to donate blood, yet fewer than 10 percent actually donate. Less than one percent of these blood donations are from African-Americans.
Blood that closely matches a patient’s ethnicity is more likely to be compatible with the patient’s own blood and such transfusions can lead to fewer complications. For example, some African-American donors have different combinations of antigens in their blood, which are rarely found in other ethnic groups.
“Encouraging and maintaining diversity among our donors helps LifeSource to continue supplying quality blood products to the community,” says Mike Quint, LifeSource Director. “Blood donation is an important community service and it should be shared by everyone.”
Certain blood disorders also affect African-Americans more than other ethnicities. Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited red blood cell disorder that affects approximately 100,000 people in the United States, mainly African-Americans.
Prostate, breast, lung and colorectal cancer are among the leading cancers that have a disproportionately higher mortality rate in African-Americans. Many cancer treatment regimens include chemotherapy and radiation, which have as a consequence a decrease in production of blood cells by the bone marrow, including a decrease in platelets. Many patients depend on platelet transfusions to prevent bleeding.
Approximately 45 percent of people in the United States have type O blood. This percentage is higher among African-Americans at 51 percent. Type O blood is frequently used in emergency situations because it is universally compatible.
“With ongoing outreach, proper education and awareness, LifeSource looks forward to building its donor base and enhancing the community’s knowledge of blood donation and the very special role each donor has in supporting life,” says Quint.
Donate blood this February and shed light on the importance of blood donation in the African-American community. Together we can ensure quality blood products are available for those who need them most.
Be The Giving Type and schedule your appointment today. Please call 866.996.5100 or click here.
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If you are interested in hosting a blood drive in honor of Black History Month, please call 866.996.5100.
Donate Blood. Support Life.