SOUTHERN COLORADO — According to the Red Cross, about 100,000 people in the United States have sickle cell disease. Most are of African descent. The disease causes red blood cells to harden and form a C-shape (like a sickle), and can cause severe pain, respiratory conditions, organ failure, and even stroke.
Our nation is in the middle of a severe blood donation shortage, the agency says, and this shortage was made worse by the pandemic. The Red Cross says part of the issue is medical centers have a higher demand for blood, due to elective surgeries and transplants being delayed during COVID. Those surgeries are now taking place once again.
It's a major concern for those with certain illnesses that require specific types of blood for treatment. According to the CDC, sickle cell disease happens in one out of 365 Black or African American births. People with sickle cell disease depend on blood transfusions regularly.
Susan Forbes, with the organization 'OneBlood', told our news partner says it's safe to donate blood after you get a COVID-19 vaccine.
"There is no wait period to donate after receiving the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. It's a two week wait period for the Johnson and Johnson to be a blood donor," Forbes explained. "As long as you're feeling well you can come in and donate."
To find out more about Sickle Cell disease, click here.
To find out where to donate blood, click here.
For more information on OneBlood, click here.