Every year, the Mu Omega Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. hosts an annual blood drive to commemorate the work of our fraternity brother Dr. Charles R. Drew and to help meet the needs of our community. Dr. Drew was an African American physician and surgeon, who was instrumental in the development of the foundation for blood plasma processing, storage and transfusion therapy. In 1940, Dr. Charles R. Drew laid the groundwork for today’s modern blood banking with the start of the Red Cross blood program, and a year later, became the first medical director of the Red Cross.
The Mu Omega chapter honors Dr. Drew’s legacy at a time of critical need for African American blood donors for patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sickle cell disease affects about 100,000 people in the United States, the majority of whom are African-Americans. For conditions like SCD and for those who need repeated blood transfusions, genetically-similar blood is preferred, as it will be less likely to be rejected and can lead to fewer complications after a transfusion. Thus, African American blood donors are more likely to be a match for those in need of such transfusions.
Following a significant decline in donations amid the COVID-19 outbreak, patients (such as those with SCD) are depending on donations for their treatment. As we come together for our communities in more ways than one, we encourage you to join us on our virtual blood drive from June 10th to July 10th, pledging to donate and scheduling an appointment to donate blood at a local blood drive during a time of utmost need for patients all over the country.
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