If Black Americans make up 13 percent of the population, why are less than 3 percent of blood donors?
If Black Americans make up 13 percent of the population, why are less than 3 percent of blood donors? Blood donations are especially critical during national emergencies and are essential to providing necessary medical care for those who are involved in incidents that result in a loss of blood.Over 50 percent of Black people have O-positive blood, the most transfused type in the U.S. This is also the type to most likely experience a shortage.
1 in 13 Black babies are born with the sickle cell trait
Blood donation from Black Americans is also essential for those suffering from Sickle Cell Disease. Sickle Cell Disease is fairly common in the black community, occurring in 1 out of every 365 Black births (1 in 13 Black babies are born with the sickle cell trait) compared to about 1 out of every 16,300 Hispanic American births. While white people can inherit the sickle cell trait, rarely do they develop Sickle Cell Disease
Black blood donors play a vital role in the medical care of those with Sickle Cell Disease. Blood transfusions are a regular part of the life of someone who suffers from sickle cell. One in 2 Block O-positive blood donors are a match for Black sickle cell patients compared to only 1 in 40 donors of other ethnicities. Many may recall the stories of Tionne “T-Boz_ Watkins of the singing group TLC and her battles with Sickle
A Sick Life — TLC ‘n Me: Stories from On and Off the Stage
Cell. In her memoir A Sick Life — TLC ‘n Me: Stories from On and Off the Stage, she opened up about how the blood disease affected her life and career, as well as the reoccurring need for blood transfusions. Such transfusions help prevent more serious complications like organ and tissue damage, severe pain, and even stroke. Medical professionals agree that receiving blood from someone of the same race or similar ethnicity is the best treatment for those with the disease.