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Give Blood Save a Life

Listen to Chantelle, a valuable volunteer and member of our committee, discuss the significance of blood transfusions.

Chantelle and countless others like her depend on regular blood transfusions to support them in leading as normal a life as they possibly can.

We need more African and Caribbean donors because they are more likely to possess the uncommon subtype Ro blood that people with sickle cell disease require.


This article gives a first hand account of how vital blood transfusions are for some Sickle Cell patients. Our volunteer, Chantelle Hemmings and Ray Stevens, parent of a 19 year old sickle patient give first hand accounts of how important blood donations are to them.

Our Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Mason, provides a note of caution about new treatments being seen as a ‘cure all’ when the truth is that blood donations are still a vital component of treatment for sickle cell.

The NHS Blood and Transplant Team stress that rare blood types such as RO which provide ethnically matched blood for sickle cell patients are prevalent within black populations of African and Caribbean descent.

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Why give blood?

The need for blood transfusions is common among sickle cell patients. Regular blood transfusions aid in reducing and preventing a serious pain crisis, but for the majority of patients who receive blood transfusions, it is vital that they receive blood from a donor who is of the same ethnic background. 

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Why do we need more black and ethnic minority donors?

The Ro blood subtype is prevalent in sickle cell patients, and there is a discrepancy between the quantity of Ro blood we currently collect and the demand for Ro blood from hospitals.

People of African and Caribbean heritage are 10 times more likely to have the Ro subtype. However, because only 2% of donors have this rare subtype, it can be challenging to meet demand. Because of this, the blood of Black donors is so essential to saving and enhancing the lives of people with sickle cell disease in the UK.

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