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Sickle Cell awareness

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Letter to the editor by J.B. Bowles

By The Staff

September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month. There are about 70,000 Americans who have this condition, which occurs in one of every 500 African American births making it one of the most common genetic diseases in the U.S. It affects the oxygen-carrying red blood cells and may trigger painful and life-threatening situations, including crisis. The most common treatment for patients, both during crisis and as a preventive step, is blood transfusion. For some patients, blood transfusions are needed every month. This large number of transfusions brings it own problems, some of which can be lessened by receiving blood from closely matched donors. LifeSouth calls these donors Sickle Cell Heroes, and more are needed. Simply by donating blood, you can find out if you are one of these special lifesavers. So, this month remember those with sickle cell disease and help them by donating blood.

J.B. Bowles

LifeSouth South Florida District Director