Published by Kirby Winn on Thursday, September 14, 2023 in News Releases

ImpactLife is reaching out to increase donations from those can help increase the availability of blood components for patients with Sickle Cell Disease. September’s Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month brings the opportunity to focus on the important role blood transfusions can play in treating patients experiencing a sickle cell crisis.

How Blood Transfusions Help Patients with SCD

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) causes severe pain when abnormally shaped red blood cells clog the circulation. Serious complications include stroke, and damage to the eyes, kidneys, and spleen. Transfusions can replace the abnormal cells, replenishing the supply of healthy red blood cells and preventing painful medical crises and organ damage.

SCD 1 in 3 matchReceiving a well-matched blood transfusion can mean the difference between life, disability, and death for sickle cell patients. Tiffani Jackson is one such patient who has received numerous blood transfusions as part of treatment for Sickle Cell Anemia. She describes the pain of a sickle cell crisis as being cut with broken glass, but she has experienced the relief that a blood transfusion can bring. “You can’t breathe, and most likely you’re in the hospital for more than a week,” says Jackson. “But when you get a blood transfusion, the pain goes away. Blood donors are important to sickle cell patients because your donations provide the ultimate relief in a sickle cell crisis.”

Stronger Together: Red4Life program helps identify more donors who can help
ImpactLife developed its Red4Life program to increase the number of appropriately matched donations available for SCD patients. Because these patients rely on frequent blood transfusions, often every month, to help manage their disease, donations must be matched in more detail than for many other patients.

Under the Red4Life program, donors whose blood is tested and identified as an appropriate antigen match for patients with SCD are invited to become a Red4Life donor. After making their fourth donation each year, Red4Life donors will receive an additional 800 points to use in the ImpactLife Donor Loyalty Store.

AABB News feature article on Red4Life (.pdf)

To schedule appointments for donation, please call (800) 747-5401, schedule online at, or by using the blood center’s mobile app (

About Sickle Cell Disease 
Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited blood disorder that affects red blood cells. It is the most common hereditary disorder and currently affects more than 100,000 Americans, predominantly people of African descent. The red blood cells in patients with sickle cell disease can become “sickled” in shape, which can cause the cells to become stuck in small blood vessels. Patients can experience pain and anemia and are at increased risk for strokes and other types of organ damage. When patients experience a sickle cell crisis, red cell transfusion is a major form of therapy to relieve symptoms.

With more frequent blood transfusions, however, alloimmunization (development of antibodies directed against red blood cell antigens) can occur. The antigen-negative blood types needed for patients with sickle cell disease are more generally found in donors of African descent. (For information on the ImpactLife Red4Life donor program, see

Use our Sickle Cell Disease communication toolkit

Social Media Resources

Click on the images below that you would like to download, then right click and select "Save image as" to use on your social media pages!

Profile Pictures

sickle cell disease awareness month profile picture

sickle cell disease profile picture

Animated Graphics

sickle cell graphic for instagram

Sickle Cell animated graphic

Social Media Graphics

Tiffani quote

shy quote

Ashley quote

aniyah sickle cell

sickle cell graphic

sickle cell social media graphic

sickle cell awareness social media image

1 in 3 african-american blood donors are a match for a sickle cell patient

1 in 13 african-americans have sickle cell trait

Email Headers

Sickle Cell Matters 2023

Email Header 2

Email Header 3

Email Header 4

About The Author

Kirby Winn

Kirby Winn serves as Manager, Public Relations for ImpactLife. He enjoys working with media across the blood center's service region to share the stories of patients who have been helped by the generous volunteers who support our mission.

See more by this author