Is Our Black Blood Really Needed That Badly?
Every family has at least one member who has required a blood transfusion at some point in their lives. This can range from a road accident where the victim has lost a large amount of blood, to sufferers of blood disorders. Cases such as leukaemia, sickle cell and anaemia are rising so therefore, more black blood donors are desperately needed.
But why us? Why black blood donors specifically?
You may have heard of phrases such as “we all bleed the same no matter your race” etc. This out-dated myth could not be further from the truth. They were floating around before blood types (A, B, AB and O) were discovered in the early 1900s.
The vast majority of blood transfusions are not specific to racial or ethnic groups. However, certain blood diseases are. The most commonly known blood disorder, Sickle Cell Anaemia, mainly affects people of African and Caribbean origin.
There are thousands of sickle cell sufferers in Britain. Many of them require regular blood exchanges to stay alive. There is a very rare blood subtype called Ro, which is mainly found in black people. Because of this, black blood donors with the Ro subtype are most likely to be the perfect match for certain sickle cell patients.
The Blood Donation Process
Here’s a short video showing how donating blood is fun, safe and easy to do. It also touches on the rise of UK sickle cell cases and the increased need for the rare Ro blood subtype, which is mainly found in black people.
You can register to give blood by visiting the NHS Blood & Transplant website, www.blood.co.uk
It’s so easy for any healthy adult in the UK to give blood. The NHS has several Blood & Transplant centres in all UK major cities. Mobile blood donation vans are also used so that smaller towns and rural areas can be reached.
Due to the rise in sickle cell and bone marrow cases, black blood donors are in high demand. Black people are vital to help win the war against these chronic illnesses because we are the main ones who carry the Ro blood subtype.
You must be on the NHS blood register in order to become a blood or bone marrow donor. The website is very easy to use and registration takes less than 2 minutes. Click below so that you can become a future donor.