Versiti Blood Center of Michigan raises awareness of sickle cell disease throughout September
First special blood drive seeking diversified donations in Saginaw Wednesday as National Sickle Cell Awareness Month kicks off
Sickle cell disease is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. For millions around the world, their red blood cells become hard and sticky and look like a C-shaped farm tool call a sickle. The cells commonly become stuck in small blood vessels and block the flow of blood and oxygen to organs in the body, causing severe pain, organ damage, serious infection and stroke.
In the U.S., more than 100,000 people live with sickle cell disease, which occurs in 1 in 365 African-American births and 1 in 16,300 Hispanic-American births.
To help raise awareness of the disease and the need for a diversified blood supply across the U.S., Versiti Blood Centers are hosting special drives in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan throughout September.
All eligible donors at the first Michigan drive focusing on the need for life-saving blood donations from diversified donors will receive a National Sickle Cell Awareness Month T-shirt:
1-7 p.m. Sept. 2
Dow Event Center in the Atrium
303 Johnson St., Saginaw
To ensure everyone's safety during continuing coronavirus concerns, Versiti employees wear face masks or cloth face coverings and are temperature tested before their shifts. Donors are also temperature tested and prescreened before their donation. All donors are asked to wear their own face covering during their appointment.
Social distancing is being practiced at all Versiti blood drives throughout Michigan. Versiti is efficiently cleaning and disinfecting all facilities and equipment at all drives.
Donating blood takes about an hour. Anyone age 17 or older in good health who meets eligibility requirements is encouraged to give. Parental consent is required for donors age 16 to give. Donors should bring a photo ID that includes their birth date.
Appointments are encouraged but walk-ins are welcome. To schedule an appointment to donate blood, call 1-866-642-5663 or visit Versiti online.
Versiti Blood Center of Michigan, formerly Michigan Blood, has collected blood throughout the state since 1955. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, the non-profit organization provides blood products and services to more than 80 Michigan hospitals, collects nearly 115,000 units of blood each year at eight donation centers and conducts more than 3,400 local community blood drives throughout the state.
Page Updated Last on: Sep 03, 2020