In honor of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Geisinger Blood Center is highlighting the importance of blood donation among people of Asian-Pacific descent. Increasing donations made by people of diverse ethnic backgrounds is an important part of being able to provide hospitals with the blood patients need.
Transfusions from a donor of the same ethnicity as the patient may result in fewer transfusion complications. This is due to a closer compatibility than just looking at ABO positive/negative blood type.
“Encouraging and maintaining diversity among our donors helps Geisinger Blood Center to continue supplying quality blood products to the community,” says Mike Quint, Director of Geisinger Blood Center. “Blood donation is an important community service, and it should be shared by everyone.”
Thirty-eight percent of the population is eligible to donate blood, yet fewer than 10 percent donate. Now consider that less than one percent of these blood donations are from Asian Americans. Bringing awareness to these numbers is important when comparing them to the prevalence of certain diseases in the Asian-Pacific community.
Asian Americans have a higher risk for kidney disease and kidney failure compared to other populations. Anemia can be a byproduct of kidney disease, and some anemic patients may require blood transfusions. “With ongoing outreach, proper
education and awareness, Geisinger Blood Center looks forward to building its donor base and enhancing the community’s knowledge of blood donation and the very special role each donor has in supporting life,” says Quint.
In preparation for their donation, donors are asked to eat well, stay hydrated and arrive with proper identification. Blood donors must be at least 17 years old (or 16 years old with parental consent). For an appointment, call 866-966-5100. or visit geisingerbloodcenter.org.