rising demand from sickle cell disease patients.
According to NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), a record number of blood donations are required daily to treat sickle cell disease patients. Because it is one of the hereditary disorders with the fastest growth rate globally, there is a greater need for treatment than ever before.
In the previous five years, there has been a roughly 67% increase in the need for blood to treat sickle cell disease. In contrast to five years ago, when just 150 donations per day were necessary, the NHSBT said that 250 donations are now needed daily to assist people with sickle cell.
These new statistics demonstrate that hospitals need blood more than ever for patients with sickle cell illnesses. Sickle cell disease disproportionately affects people of Black, African or Black Caribbean descent.
According to health officials, growing patient populations, longer patient lifespans, and an increase in “full blood transfusions” contribute to rising demand. Only slightly more than half of the hospitals’ requests for matched blood can now be fulfilled by the NHS.
O negative, the universal blood type, which is clinically safe but can cause difficulties over time, must be administered to other individuals.
Approximately 55% of Black people and 2% of the general population have the blood type Ro. According to a briefing memo from NHSBT, there isn’t enough Ro blood available for sickle cell patients to fulfill hospital demand.
Red blood cells produced by sickle cell disease sufferers have an abnormal form and can obstruct blood vessels in addition to having a shorter lifespan than healthy blood cells.
“Agonizing crisis episodes” and potentially deadly complications like organ damage or stroke can result from this.
Despite the fact that many of the symptoms can be managed with treatment, it remains a significant and lifelong health issue. Many sickle cell sufferers require frequent blood transfusions to be alive.
Black people are more likely to be able to donate matched blood because it is essential for sickle cell sufferers to do so in order to lower the risk of significant consequences.
Blood donations have slightly increased, but there is a desperate need for more to sign up as regular donors. Giving blood is simple, quick, and safe; it also improves and saves lives.