Red Cross needs donors of all blood types to maintain a diverse supply to meet needs
During National Sickle Cell Awareness Month, the American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give blood to help ensure a stable and diverse blood supply for patients in need.
Blood donors may be helping patients like 11-year-old Martin Mwita who has sickle cell disease. His body doesn’t produce enough healthy red cells to carry adequate oxygen through his body, so he relies on monthly transfusions to stabilize his health.
A diverse blood supply is important to ensure the needs of all patients are met. Red blood cells carry markers that determine one’s blood type, and some blood types are unique to certain racial and ethnic groups. Because blood from donors of the same ethnic background as the recipient is less likely to cause complications, the Red Cross must maintain a diverse blood supply to meet these diverse patient needs.