On Monday August 29th the 12th District Police Department hosted a blood drive with the American Red Cross. The event took place at Southwest CDC where 21 community members showed up to give back and donate blood. Some of these donors were police and Southwest CDC staff.
There are several benefits of giving blood. Your donation appointment includes a free health assessment which consists of your blood pressure, hemoglobin, and pulse being checked. All of your results can be checked online and then you can share the information with your doctor. After your appointment your blood will be sent to a lab to be screened for sickle cell traits, blood type testing, and infectious disease testing.
One issue with current blood supply is that there are not enough minority blood donors. African-American individuals make up 13% of the U.S. population, but less than 3% of blood donors. African-American donors play a critical role in blood donation. According to the Red Cross, people with sickle cell disease need the most compatible match, which usually comes from someone of the same race. This helps prevent complications, such as organ and tissue damage, severe pain, and strokes. Sickle cell disease is far more prevalent in African-Americans than any other group. According to the CDC, about 1 in 13 Black or African-American babies are born with sickle cell trait, and sickle cell disease occurs among about 1 out of every 365 Black or African-American births.
You can search for a blood drive near you at https://www.redcrossblood.org. If you would like to help but are unable to give blood, you can still host a blood drive or become a volunteer.