FAMU Supports Blood Drive for Sickle Cell

Suppose you get into an accident or unexpectedly need emergency surgery.

You might need blood-but what if there is not enough blood to save your life?

A blood drive at Florida A&M University will give students the chance to donate blood to the community.

On Monday, Sept. 22, The Sickle Cell Foundation Inc. is sponsoring a blood

drive in front of the Perry-Paige Building from 8 a.m. to 11:30a.m.

Jeanne Dariotis, the CEO of the Southeastern Community Blood Center believes that a lot of the people that could give blood don’t.

“Less than 5 percent of the population gives blood,” Dariotis said. “Most of us don’t really know the importance of giving blood because people tend to think that it (needing blood) will never happen to them.”

“African Americans tend not to donate as much blood as other ethnic groups,” said Cathy Morgan, the executive director of The Sickle Cell Foundation.

“We’re trying to use [the blood drive] to promote,” Morgan said. “To get young people to donate blood so when blood is needed it will be available.”

According to Morgan, one out of every four African Americans has Sickle Cell and one out of 12 have the trait.

Sickle Cell is a disease that is inherited by parents who either have the trait

or who have the disease.  It causes red blood cells to become disordered.  Sickle Cell is non-contagious because it is a trait that you are born with. Morgan said, “Some of the blood donated will go to those in Leon County who have sickle cell.”

However, even after blood is donated, it takes a while before it is given to a recipient.

“When blood is donated it takes about 24 to 48 hours from the time people give blood until it is readily available because of all the testing,” said Dariotis.

Among the many requirements to give blood, donors must be 17 years-of-age, weigh 110 pounds and have no serious viruses.

“Blood is used to save lives in car accidents, cancer [treatments], surgery and sometimes to save a premature baby,” Dariotis said. “Donating blood is not painful, it’s not hard and it will only take an hour.”

Health beat answers all of your health and beauty questions.

Are you thinking about giving blood? Here are some things you must know before donating. These tips are taken from the Southeastern Community Blood Center.

-Must be 17 years of age.

-Must weigh at least 110 pounds.

-Cannot donate if you have heart damage

-Cannot donate blood if you have diabetes that is controlled by insulin.

-Must be 24-hour symptom free, if you have the flu, cold sores, or a fever.

-Must wait 6 months if had an abortion, miscarriage, C-section or pregnancy.

-Have something to eat 1-3 hours before donating blood and have plenty of fluids after donating blood.

-Must wait 12 months after receiving any ear or body piercing that were not professionally done

-Must wait 12 months after recent tattooing

-Do not give blood if there is s a chance that you have HIV/AIDS, even if you do not have symptoms.

-Donations of blood must be 8 weeks apart.

-If you have had major surgery, wait to give blood for 2-6 months.  If you have had minor surgery, wait to give blood for 1-6 months.

-Must wait 12 months to donate blood after a blood transfusion

-If you have Hepatitis, you cannot donate blood.

-Must wait 4 weeks after a MMR shot, but after flu or tetanus shots there is no wait.

-Medications-different medications vary persons taking antibiotics must wait seven days

Taken From the Southeastern Community Blood CenterRequirements for donating blood

For more information on donating blood visit www.scbcinfo.org, or to sign up to donate blood with The Sickle Cell Foundation Inc. call (850) 222-2355.

Compiled by Ryanne Persinger