More than 200 donors needed for upcoming Fort Campbell blood drive

BACH is looking for 200 donors for an upcoming blood drive
BACH is looking for 200 donors for an upcoming blood drive(BACH)
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 5:04 PM CDT
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FORT CAMPBELL, KY. (WSMV) - Blanchfield Army Community Hospital said they are looking for over 200 donors to step up and give blood at their upcoming blood drive.

According to BACH officials, American Red Cross officials designated the event as a Sickle Cell Event. They seek to recruit more African American blood donors whose blood may be the only match for patients suffering from the red blood cell disorder.

“With patients suffering from sickle cell blood disease, they sometimes need to get blood transfusions every month, and after several times, if it is not ethnically matched, their body will start rejecting the blood. So, we have to make sure we have the ethnically matched blood on the shelves for those patients who present to the ER in a crisis,” said Scarlett James, Sickle Cell Account Manager for the American Red Cross for Tennessee and Kentucky, adding that approximately 90% of sickle cell disease patients in the U.S. are Black or African American.

James explained that sickle cell is an inherited disease that can cause extreme pain when red blood cells become rigid and crescent-shaped. As a result, it is then difficult for blood carrying oxygen to flow smoothly to the rest of the body, which may result in severe pain, stroke, and organ damage.

“I had someone with sickle cell tell me the pain was so severe that you would pray to die, and I never wanted to believe that was true, but when I had my first crisis, it was very true and just the worst pain imaginable,” said Lydia Langford, a sickle cell survivor.

Langford has already received 600 blood transfusions and depends on them to live.

“It’s a monthly thing for me…And when that blood is not there, and you’re told, ‘well Lydia, you have to wait for a donor or a match, and we can’t find one,’ anxious doesn’t even begin to describe the feeling,” Langford shared in a public service announcement for the American Red Cross.

BACH said one blood transfusion for sickle cell patients like Langford might use 12 units, amounting to 12 whole blood donations. Since blood is perishable, organizations like American Red Cross must continually replenish the supply.

The blood drive will take place on September 16th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Soldier and Family Assistance Center on post at the corner of Indiana Ave. and 20th Street.

Click here to sign up and learn more about the event.