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Leading Blood Centers, LifeSource and Central Blood Bank, Spotlight a Unique Donor Population During National Hereditary Hemochromatosis Awareness Month
Date:7/14/2009

CHICAGO, JULY 14 /PRNewswire/ -- According to America's Blood Centers, every two seconds someone is in need of blood - and during the summer season the need is even more profound. In honor of National Hereditary Hemochromatosis (HH) Awareness Month in July, two of the nation's largest independent blood centers LifeSource and Central Blood Bank are hoping to reach a unique group of people who can not only help address ongoing blood collection challenges, but also help themselves in the process.

HH is a genetic blood disorder that leads to the accumulation of iron in the liver, heart, pancreas, skin and gonads. It affects an estimated one million adults - or one in 200 - in the United States, primarily those of Northern European decent. HH is easily managed by regularly drawing blood, a process called phlebotomy, which causes the body's iron levels to return to normal. LifeSource and Central Blood Bank are using the national awareness month to raise overall awareness of the condition to encourage diagnosis and to let current HH patients know that they are able to receive phlebotomies free of charge at select locations and help others in the process.

"The vast majority of these patients - and many physicians for that matter - don't realize that with a doctor's prescription, HH patients can receive regular phlebotomy treatments free of charge," says Dr. Joseph Kiss, Medical Director for Central Blood Bank. "In the past, these individuals had their blood drawn and disposed of in their doctor's office often incurring co-pays or doctor's fees. We are urging them to visit one of our select donor centers to be treated at no cost and have the added benefit of knowing that their blood can help save people's lives."

Upon diagnosis, HH is easily managed through donation of a pint of blood on a regular basis which causes iron levels to normalize. HH patients ne
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SOURCE LifeSource; Central Blood Bank
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