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Red Cross Accepting Blood Donations For Sickle Cell Awareness Month

09/10/2013 - 10:00 AM

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September is recognized as National Sickle Cell Awareness Month.

According to the American Red Cross an estimated 100,000 Americans are living with sickle cell disease.

The Red Cross is accepting blood donations to help those suffering with the disease.

Sickle cell disease causes red blood cells to form an abnormal shape. Without regular blood transfusions a patient with sickle cell disease has a higher risk of stroke as well as damage to major organs.

Most people suffering with Sickle Cell are of African, Indian, Middle Eastern, Hispanic and Mediterranean descents. A diverse supply of donated blood is needed because recipients of the blood transfusions are less likely to suffer complications if the donated blood is from the same ethnic group.

Blood donations for Stearns and Sherburne County start September 16 and run through the end of the month.

For more information on donation locations and times please visit the American Red Cross.