Klerksdorp Midweek, Klerksdorp - The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on hospitals has stretched blood supplies in the country.
Recently, the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) has experienced poor collection due to, among other challenges, low donor turnout to mobile blood drives and donor centres.
“While we continue to contend with declining blood stocks, the demand from patients has not slowed down. Lifesaving surgeries and the treatment of other illnesses still demands that we consistently supply much needed blood products. The situation is critical and could become dire if we fail to collect sufficient Group O blood,” warned Dr Karin van den Berg, SANBS Medical Director.
With less than three days blood stock currently on hand, the SANBS once again calls on donors to rally behind this lifesaving mission to help save thousands of lives.
“Our donors have always been incredibly generous during times of struggle and we need their help to ensure that our blood supply stabilises once more,” said Van den Berg. Hospital demand for blood has been at its highest and the pressure from low donor turnout has not helped the situation at all. This is why, where possible, the SANBS has extended its donor centres’ operating hours for the foreseeable future, to allow donors more hours in the day to make their donations.
“We commend the donors who have kept us going despite the current social uncertainties and general social anxiety that plagues
many people at the moment. We especially implore donors with O-positive and O-negative blood to make their donation as they
can make the biggest immediate difference to the situation we face right now,” Van den Berg concluded.
Donors who are ready and willing to roll up their sleeves and lend an arm can find out more about where they can donate blood by visiting www.sanbs.org.za or by calling 0800 11 90 31.
The SANBS is, furthermore, appealing to the public to make venues available for blood drives. Suitable venues include spaces accessible and open to the public. If you are able to host a blood drive, visit www.sanbs.org.za to book a blood drive and to see how else you can get involved.
One blood donation gives recipients a second chance with their loved ones. Another Christmas to remember, another summer holiday at the beach, another birthday celebration.
To become a blood donor, you must:
- Be between the ages of 16 and 75 years.
- Weigh 50kg or more.
- Lead a healthy lifestyle.
- Consider your blood safe for transfusion to a patient.
- Commit to donating blood regularly.