LifeSouth seeking blood donations, raising sickle cell awareness

Blood Drive 1

By WVUA23 Digital Reporter Melanie Bumpus

LifeSouth Community Blood Centers is looking for blood donors as part of its 365 Movement supporting those living with sickle cell disease.

September is Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month, and SCD is a genetic blood disorder named for the thin, crescent-shaped red blood cells that those with the disease develop. Symptoms often include chronic fatigue, episodes of extreme pain, breathlessness and an increased risk of complications including stroke and liver disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that SCD affects around 100,000 Americans. Those living with the disease often need blood transfusions because they help increase the amount of healthy red blood cells and lessen the effects of sickle-shaped cells.

“As we have been grappling with a low blood supply this year across the nation, we ask all eligible donors to give this month in support of those with sickle cell disease,” said LifeSouth Medical Services Vice President Dr. Chris Lough in a statement.

LifeSouth is a community-based blood supplier with hospitals in Alabama, Georgia and Florida. Local hospitals in Alabama such as UAB Hospital and Children’s Hospital work with LifeSouth to match SCD patients with donors whose red blood cells are matched to reduce complications.

If you’re interested in seeing if you’re a match for someone with the disease, you can learn more about the Be the Match Registry right here.

Just interested in donating blood? You can learn more about upcoming LifeSouth blood drives in your area right here.

Categories: Local News