Skip to Content

Red Cross in Bend in need of more African American blood donors

To help treat painful sickle cell anemia

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The American Red Cross says it is in need of more African American blood donors to help treat sickle cell disease.

Sickle cell disease is a common form of an inherited blood disorder that causes the production of abnormal hemoglobin. The American Society of Hematology reports that the blood disorder affects about 8% of African Americans.

According to the Census Bureau, African Americans make up about .6 percent of Deschutes County residents and 1.4% in Jefferson County.

Nadine McCrindle, executive director of the American Red Cross Blood Services for Central Oregon, said Wednesday that since the beginning of this pandemic, they’ve noticed a larger drop in African American donors than any other race, because COVID-19 has disproportionately affected a higher number of African American people.

“What this means is that it is really important to match those red blood types together, so that when we do use the blood in treatment for sickle cell disease, it's less chances for complications," McCrindle said.

"Sickle cell patients need blood transfusions to alleviate pain. It's quite a painful disease, and some of these patients actually require these transfusions as much as every month. That means the need for these blood donations is constant.”

McCrindle said the donors who have the necessary blood to treat sickle cell disease are vital to the patients. She said the blood transfusions also help alleviate the pain that children and adults who have the disease may face. 

The American Red Cross is asking anyone willing to donate to make an appointment. Your temperature will be taken before you're able to enter the center, and the staff and donors are required to wear masks.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Arielle Brumfield

Arielle Brumfield is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Arielle here.


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content