February is Black History Month which presents a special opportunity for the American Red Cross to celebrate African American blood donors and encourage eligible donors of all backgrounds to make an appointment to donate blood.
African Americans make unique contributions to America’s blood supply when they donate blood because, in the African American community, there are certain rare blood types that are more common than in other ethnic communities. For example, more than 50 percent of the African American community has type O blood and about 20 percent have type B blood (you can view the attached chart below to better understand the relationship between donor blood types and recipient blood types). This unique contribution is critically important, not only because of the rarity of these blood types, but because post-transfusion complications can decrease when patients receive blood from donors of the same ethnic background.
Visit this link to read personal testimonies about how blood donations changed these peoples’ lives: http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/donor-community/donor-stories Then, find a local donation center and sign up to Give Blood and Save a Life during the month of February to help us celebrate donors of all backgrounds!