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Sickle Cell Disease affects approximately 80,000 African Americans in the United States. While there is no cure, the painful symptoms of this disease can be prevented by regular blood transfusions. Because of the need for regular transfusions over a patient’s lifetime, it is critically important that blood transfused to Sickle Cell patients be as closely matched as possible. If the blood is not closely matched, the patient may build antibodies against the donated blood, and the transfusions will be ineffective in treating the symptoms of the disease. Like other genetic factors, blood is similar among people of the same ethnic group, that is why the closest match for a Sickle Cell patient will most likely come from an African American donor

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