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On-Demand eCasts

20EL-577 On-Demand eCast: The Impact on the Blood Supply of the Historic Mistrust of the Medical Establishment Among the African American Community

Expiration Date: Sep 22, 2023

Credits: None available.


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Live Program Date: Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Program Number: 20EL-577

Educational Track: Quality Education
Topic: Transfusion Medicine
Intended Audience: CEOs, CFOs, Directors, Donor Recruitment Staff, Hospitals, Hospital Blood Banks, HR Personnel, Laboratory Staff, Managers/Supervisors, Medical Directors, Nurses, Physicians, Research Scientists, Residents/Fellows, Scientists, Students (MD, MT, SBB), Technologists, Transfusion Safety Officers
Teaching Level: Basic to Intermediate

(titles and affiliations at the time of the live program)
Moderator: Yvette M. Miller, MD, American Red Cross
Speakers: Yvette M. Miller, MD, American Red Cross; Kim Smith-Whitley, MD, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Wayne A. I. Frederick, MD, MBA, F.A.C.S., President, Howard University; Carla Williams, PhD, Howard University

Learning Objectives

After participating in this educational activity, participants should be able to:

  • Discuss the generational issues of mistrust of the medical establishment among African Americans.
  • Describe the importance of African American blood donors to support Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) patients, and the compounded impact to the blood supply due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Discuss the unique challenges of treating children who live with SCD from a transfusion and blood supply perspective.
  • Identify blood donation engagement strategies for various communities.

Program Description

Historical events and perceptions have fostered mistrust of the medical community among African Americans, which extends to blood donation. African American blood donation rates have been 25-50% lower than that of the white individuals over the last decade. Although this issue has been repeatedly identified, efforts to address the underlying causes of this disparity have not been examined holistically.

Sickle cell disease (SCD) continues to disproportionally impact the African American community occurring in about 1 out of every 365 births (1 in 13 African American babies are born with the sickle cell trait). Although the transfusion needs of patients with sickle cell disease can be met by blood donors of any ethnicity, the best blood product match is from a phenotype-matched donor of the same ethnic group. When there is increased inventory of blood from African American donors, there is a greater likelihood that a phenotype match will be found. Tackling this important issue requires education and guidance to blood collectors to assist them with developing culturally appropriate and compelling community engagement, recruiting, educational materials and an understanding of the need to reach people where they live.

Moderator & Speaker(s):



  • 1.00 - General Continuing Education (GEN)
  • 1.00 - Florida Lab Personnel (FLP)
  • 1.00 - California Nurse (CN)
  • 1.00 - California Lab Personnel (CLP)
  • 1.00 - Physician (PHY)

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