Orin Lewis OBE
Co-founder, ACLT (African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust)
A new campaign encourages the Black community to book blood donation appointment at one of the eight sessions taking place across the country.
Black people aged 17-66 are being encouraged to register to donate blood under a new blood donation campaign in memory of Evan Nathan Smith; a 21-year-old Black man who suffered a sickle cell crisis in hospital, but later died due to medical staff failing to provide him with ablood transfusion.
A recent coroner’s inquest concluded, had Evan, who worked as a Sports Analyst, received the blood transfusion he had requested, his life may have been saved.
Increasing blood donors
Last year, 10,000 Black donors gave 10 minutes of their time to donate life-saving blood. Every month NHS Blood and Transplant need over 1,300 new Black donors to provide not only essential treatment for the 14,000 patients living with sickle cell disease, but also provide life-saving blood for use in emergencies, childbirth, during surgery, treatment of cancer and for a range of medical conditions. Whilst people from the same ethnic background are more likely to have the same blood type, the shortage of black donors makes it harder to find the best ethnically matched blood for black patients.
Last year, 10,000 Black donors gave 10 minutes of their time to donate life-saving blood.
The campaign, ‘United by Blood: Donating in memory of Evan Nathan Smith’ is supported by NHS Blood and Transplant. It was created by ‘United by Blood’, a coalition of Black organisations working together to raise awareness of blood disorders and blood donation. The three organisations include: ACLT (African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust), Black Mums Upfront and CellFeForLife.
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