Memorial Blood Centers Seeks Diverse Donors for Sickle Cell Program
Memorial Blood Centers always has an urgent need for blood, but this month it has a specific focus on attracting donors from diverse communities, which has been a challenge since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our ability to collect from more diverse groups has really been impacted,” said Dr. Jed Gorlin, medical director of Memorial Blood Centers. “We’ve been depending entirely on our fixed-site donations, and those frankly tend to be older donors and underrepresented by various minority communities.”
Memorial Blood Centers is looking for a more diverse donor pool in honor of Sickle Cell Awareness Month. Sickle cell is the most common blood disease in the U.S. Patients, most of whom are African-American, sometimes need frequent blood transfusions.
MBC is looking for eligible donors, especially African-Americans, to enroll in the Sickle Cell Donor Program to match patients with specially-typed donors.
“Many people require chronic transfusions to keep them from having complications,” Dr. Gorlin said. “And when you have many transfusions, you need matched blood, and that’s why we’re reaching out to the African-American community. There is no such thing as black blood or white blood, but it’s easier to match when people come from similar backgrounds.”
For more information on MBC’s Sickle Cell Donor Program and for a list of upcoming drives, you can go to the MBC website.