Jan 2021 Edition

Donate blood, save lives

You can save three lives by simply donating one unit of blood.

This year the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) ran critically low on blood stocks due to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions that severely limited the SANBS’ ability to collect adequate blood stocks.

“We are doing our utmost to continue to maintain adequate blood stock levels to service the needs of our country. The high demand for blood requires that we work even harder together to ensure that no lives are lost due to blood shortages,” says Ravi Reddy, the SANBS’ Chief Operations Officer.

Every blood donation makes a difference

Thousands of people would die daily if there was not enough quality blood in stock.

Without blood, medical treatment for children with life-threatening anaemia; trauma victims; women with pregnancy-related complications; organ and bone marrow transplants; complicated surgical procedures; and cancer treatments would not be possible.

“While some South Africans may not be able to donate blood, they can assist us in collecting much-needed blood.

“In our networks of friends, families and colleagues, there will always be someone who is able to donate blood. Partner with us and lend a hand by urging healthy, eligible blood donors to donate and help prevent shortages,” says Reddy.

SANBS aims to collect 3 000 units of blood a day to ensure a safe and sufficient blood supply.

Who can donate blood?

To donate blood, you must:

  • Be between 16 and 75.
  • Weigh a minimum of 50kgs.
  • Be in good health.
  • Lead a low-risk lifestyle.
  • Consider your blood safe for transfusion.
  • Have had a balanced meal within four hours of donating blood.
  • Not have donated blood in the past 56 days.

A screening test will be conducted before you donate blood to ensure that your blood pressure and haemoglobin (a red protein responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood) levels are within a safe range.

The SANBS also has a quick online quiz that you can complete to see if you can donate blood. Visit www.sanbs.org.za/can-i-save-3-lives-today to take the quiz.

There are many SANBSblood donation centres across the country. To find the location closest to you, visit www.sanbs.org.za or contact thecall centre at 0800 11 9031.

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