By: Leticia Vaca
There is a great need for BIPOC Blood Donors.
To be honest, the only time I was asked to donate blood was in high school and one time in college. Donating blood is not something I think about much at all.
I was reminded this year about the benefits of donating blood from Mrs. NeDina Brocks-Capla, Founder and CEO of Sickle Cell Anemia Awareness San Francisco after receiving a flyer for an event "Megablack SF Blood Drive” sponsored by the Red Cross.
I was intrigued for two reasons:
Why is there a blood donation event specifically for Black people? In my true Social Work spirit to question everything, I did my own research.
Here is what I found...
Every year an estimated 6.8 million people in the United States donate blood and 4.5 million will need a blood transfusion. Approximately one in seven people entering the hospital need blood. (5)
African Americans make up an increasing and now substantial recipients of blood transfusions. Specialized blood transfusion groups such as sickle cell disease patients, and general hospitalized patients, have a better chance of receiving phenotype-matched or appropriate red blood cell units when there is a significant percent of products in inventory from African American donors.
Barriers to BIPOC participating in blood donation :
Why Donate Blood:
This one is pretty straight forward. Donating blood can save lives! You can help save a life.
The flyer I received in February is my reminder to consider donating blood. This blog post is a reminder for you to consider becoming a blood donor.
Red Cross is a great resource to locate a donation drive or sites: https://www.redcross.org/give-blood.htm
Blood Donation Rules:
-You must be 18 years old or have parental permission if you’re 16 or 17.
-You must weigh 120 pounds or more.
-You need a valid driver’s license or a passport for identification.
-You must be free of any major organ disease, including heart disease, lung disease and -bleeding tendencies.
-You must not be taking antibiotics or other supplements that could influence the donation.
-You must wait 12 months if you had a tattoo applied in a state that does not regulate tattoo -facilities. That includes District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, -Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah and Wyoming.
-Recent surgery or travel may mean deferral.
Urban Health Group is proud to partner with Sickle Cell Anemia Awareness SF (SCAASF) in helping their participants living with the trait and disease prepare for medical emergencies with our Plan Well for Care Course. To learn more about sickle cell or SCAA, please visit their website site at : https://www.scaasf.org/
1Gillespie TW, Hillyer CD. Blood donors and factors impacting the blood donation decision. Transfus Med Rev. 2002;16:115–130.
(2)Shaz, B. H., & Hillyer, C. D. (2010). Minority donation in the United States: challenges and needs. Current opinion in hematology, 17(6), 544–549. https://doi.org/10.1097/MOH.0b013e32833e5ac7
(3)Andaleeb SS, Basu AK. Explaining blood donation: the trust factor, attitudes, personality and demographics differentiate donors from nondonors. J Health Care Mark. 1995;15:42–48