Appeal for blood donations to help people with sickle cell disease
PUBLISHED: 14:00 03 January 2019
Health chiefs are calling for more blood donations especially from the black community to help cope with a surge in demand from people with sickle cell disease.
What is sickle cell disease?
It is the name for a group of inherited conditions that affect the red blood cells. The most serious type is called sickle cell anaemia.
Sickle cell disease mainly affects people of African, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, Eastern Mediterranean and Asian origin.
People with sickle cell disease produce unusually shaped red blood cells that can cause problems because they don’t live as long as healthy blood cells and they can become stuck in blood vessels.
Sickle cell disease is a serious and lifelong condition, although long-term treatment can help manage many of the problems associated with it.
NHS Blood and Transplant have rolled out an extra 350 weekly appointments so donors can give blood at sessions across London including Newham, Tower Hamlets and Hackney.
Black people are more likely to have sickle cell disease and many sufferers need Ro group blood.
Over the last three years there has been an 80per cent increase in requests for the rare type.
There is a desperate shortage in London despite 45pc of all potential Ro blood donors living in the capital.
In addition to the extra appointments a donor centre has opened in the West End which has been refurbished to appeal to young donors.
The centre, which is open seven days a week, will provide a comfortable donation experience with free Wi-Fi and plug sockets for people to charge their phones.
To register and book an appointment to donate download the mobile GiveBlood app, call 0300 123 23 23 or visit blood.co.uk.