SULPHUR SPRINGS, Texas (Sep 2, 2021) – Blood is a necessity for all people at all times. During the ongoing nationwide blood supply shortage, the need for this vital resource is urgent, especially for those living with sickle cell disease (SCD), a genetic blood disorder. This month, Carter BloodCare urges all eligible donors to give blood to help local patients in need, including Texans living with SCD.
September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month, a time to build understanding and community support to help Americans affected by this disease. Healthy red blood cells have a round shape that allows them to carry oxygen to all body parts. In someone with SCD, however, these cells have a curved shape, much like a farmer’s sickle or crescent moon, which can clog flow through small blood vessels, causing severe pain, infection, strokes, and other health issues. It requires regular replacement of SCD patients’ blood with that of healthy donors’ red blood cells.
While more than 95 percent of SCD patients are African American, only about five percent of blood donors are African American. The community blood supply must mirror the local population to best help all patients. New and returning blood donors are urgently needed to add greater diversity to the existing community supply and replenish this lifesaving resource for all local patients, such as people receiving cancer treatments, mothers experiencing difficult childbirths, trauma, surgical patients, and more.
Several local organizations will offer upcoming opportunities to give in Sulphur Springs to support this urgent and ongoing need.
CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital hosts a blood drive from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm Saturday, Sep 4, at 115 Airport Road in the parking lot on the Carter BloodCare bus. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Lanie Wright at (903) 571-9667.
CANHelp is hosting a blood drive from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm Saturday, Sep 4, at 613 Gilmer St. in the side parking lot on the Adela Martinez at (903) 885-9797, extension 3.
American Legion Post #66 and VFW are hosting a blood drive from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm Saturday, Sep 11, at 809 Gilmer St. in the parking lot of Brookshire’s on the Carter BloodCare bus. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Andy Lowen at (903) 355-3733.
First United Methodist Church hosts a blood drive from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Sunday, Sep 26, at 301 Church St. in the gym. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Jennifer Philo at (903) 885-2185, extension 101.
Donors can complete the medical history questionnaire online on the day of donation before arriving to give blood. People who have had COVID-19 vaccinations are still eligible to donate blood.
Carter BloodCare staff and unvaccinated donors require you to wear facial coverings at blood drives or donation centers, except when taking your temperature during screening or when eating and drinking after the donation. Vaccinated donors are strongly encouraged to continue wearing masks. Carter BloodCare will comply with required mask mandates, as applicable.
Potential blood donors may volunteer at age 16 with parental consent; 17-year-olds can give blood independently, and there is no upper age limit. If you need more information on donor eligibility and to make an appointment, call/text 800-366-2834 or visit CarterBloodCare.org.
Carter BloodCare believes personal stories are powerful ways to encourage someone to give blood. Share your story at CarterBloodCare.org/tellusyourstory/ and inspire others to donate blood this fall.