Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are fortunate to live in a culturally diverse region. But as our population grows, we have an even greater need for a safe, stable blood supply – one that reflects this diversity and can support everyone.
We hope to create a greater awareness about the serious problems facing patients needing frequent transfusions through Puget Sound Blood Center’s Perfect Match Program. Most people can accept any blood as long as it is the right blood type. But some people, especially people of color, need blood that’s more closely matched. Their bodies will reject blood that isn’t a perfect match. The Perfect Match Program is part of the Blood Center’s effort to increase the community’s knowledge regarding these facts.
Currently, people of color represent less than 1% of the blood that is donated. For patients in need of multiple transfusions, more perfectly matching the blood they receive can better the medical outcome. It can help them avoid serious, possibly fatal, complications.
As a person of color, you are a rare donor - one whose blood is priceless to some patients. Your gift of blood is especially precious to those of similar heritage.
Your blood provides the best hope - often the only hope - for survival to people of your ethnicity requiring repeated transfusions to treat life-threatening conditions such as sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, heart disease, kidney disease, cancer or trauma.
Former Washington State Governor Gary Locke is helping Puget Sound Blood Center spread the word about the importance of blood donation, especially in communities of color. As the Perfect Match Program Task Force Leader he is taking the message to other community leaders and community groups.
Ben Danielson, MD, Clinical Director of Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, is also working to increase the community’s knowledge of the importance of blood donation. “We have an obligation to help support other members of our diverse population,” says Dr. Danielson, “But not enough of us are donating blood.”
Donating blood takes less than an hour. It’s easy to do, nearly painless and you can give blood up to six times a year. You may never know whose life you’ll save. But you will know you are saving lives.
For more information about donating blood or scheduling an appointment, please call 800-398-7888 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also find answers to some commonly asked questions about eligibility for blood donation in our Blood Donor FAQ.