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Florida blood organization targets more donations from black community

Posted May 17 2010 11:33am

from AABB Smart Briefs

The Blood Alliance in Jacksonville, Fla., has initiated a campaign that aims to increase the number of blood donations from members of the black community in order to meet the blood requirements of those with rare blood types and blood disorders, such as sickle cell disease. "In February, our focus was on African-American churches, and now we hope to challenge businesses with an African-American staff base," an official of the blood bank said.

This is a welcomed initiative to meet the challenge of providing compatible RBC products to not only sickle cell patients, who frequently develop multiple alloantibodies, but to other black patients who need antigen-negative blood for blood groups other than ABO/Rh.  Despite intensive research efforts for a blood substitute, a more practical and immediate approach is to increase donations from non-whites to address the differences observed in blood group antigen expression between different ethnic/racial groups.  It will be interesting to see how successful this initiative is or why it is different from other similar initiatives in the past.  Will track and follow-up.

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