Sickle cell blood drive to be hosted in Blytheville

From Region 8 News at Six
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 9:46 PM CDT
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BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) - As organizers prepare for a sickle cell disease blood drive, doctors are urging patients to get tested.

Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that causes red blood cells to become sickled in shape, blocking blood flow and leading to serious problems like stroke and pain crises.

Dr. Chimere Ashley Hammett, a family physician at Great River Medical Center, said early detection is important.

“If treatments are started early, they will help their life expectancy,” she said.

Blood drives are important for those treatments.

“The sickled cells may start destroying the healthy cells. Patients with sickle cell need frequent transfusions to have less pain in their life,” she said.

Carolyn Jenkins Herbert’s daughter has sickle cell, and they have organized a blood drive on Friday, Sept. 22.

“So many people think it’s more of a band-aid disease, and it’s not. It’s a life-threatening disease, and blood is what saves their lives,” said Herbert. “To me, I always call it liquid gold.”

The blood drive will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at the Blytheville Greyhound Bus Station, 3701 S Division St. A rally will be held Saturday, Sept. 23, at 10 a.m. at Walker Park.