Sickle Cell Disorder is a group of blood disorders that cause unusually shaped red blood cells that stick together and cause blockages within the small blood vessels. Sickle Cell is usually inherited from parents and the main symptoms include Anaemia and episodes of severe pain. People who suffer from Sickle Cell Disorder are at a greater risk of many health complications such as having a stroke and over a period can experience damage to vital organs.
To treat these conditions, regular blood transfusions are required, and the treatment is more likely to be successful if the blood closely matches the blood type of the patient.
People from Black backgrounds are more likely to have the Ro blood type which is required to treat Sickle Cell Disease. Researchers believe that Sickle Cell evolved in response to protect Black Individuals from Malaria. It is estimated that around 50% of the global population live in Malaria prone areas and this condition is commonly found in many regions of Africa. Consequently, Sickle Cell is more common in individuals whose ancestors lived within those areas. Black donors haven’t always come forward to donate blood due to various reasons including lack of knowledge, feelings of fear and mistrust. However, the NHS is running critically low on blood donations due to COVID-19 and figures have shown that 16,000 more donors are needed to meet the demand for those who are suffering from these conditions.
Did you know every time you donate blood you can help up to 3 people?
Your blood not only helps those suffering from conditions such as Sickle Cell, but it can help save people’s lives. Blood donations are used for car accidents, organ transplants, trauma patients, bone marrow transplants and for Burn Victims. You could help improve the chances of Black patients getting the blood transfusions they need by signing up to becoming a blood donor on the give blood website and talking to friends and family about giving blood.
What is the blood donation process like?
Giving blood is a safe and simple process and once you have registered all you have to do is make an appointment or visit a drop-in session. When you arrive, you are usually given a bottle of water and a leaflet giving you all the details about giving blood. You are then taken to have a health screening where you will be asked a few questions to ensure your blood is safe for the patients to receive and your iron levels will be checked. You will then proceed to give blood which takes no more than 10 minutes and once you have given blood you will be taken to have a rest and encouraged to have a drink and something to eat.
Donating blood is a fast and painless process which means it can be done at any time however, its life-changing for the patients. Donate blood today.
If you would like to get involved, please:
- Register to give blood here
- Keep up to date with our events here
- Watch our YouTube on donation
- Email Veronica Veronica.Awuzudike@communitybarnet.org.uk to find out any further information about events
If you would like further information about giving blood, please visit here.
If you are not able to give blood or attend our events you can still get involved by:
- Sharing this resource
- Spreading the message to friends and family
- Follow Barnet Wellbeing @Barnetwellbeing and @GiveBloodNHS on social media and share our key messages.