Blood ser­vice des­per­ately needs shot in arm

Pretoria News Weekend - - NEWS -

THE COUN­TRY’S blood re­serves are at cri­sis lev­els, ac­cord­ing to the South African Na­tional Blood ser­vice (SANBS).

The ser­vice said yes­ter­day the blood sup­ply for Group O stock stood at 1.8 days, equat­ing to less than 2 000 units, and donors were ur­gently needed to come for­ward.

“The blood stock in the coun­try is dan­ger­ously low. The blood sup­ply is cur­rently at just 1.8 Group O stock, com­pared with a healthy blood stock of 5 000 units or five days,” said SANBS na­tional mar­ket­ing man­ager Silungile Mlambo.

“The sit­u­a­tion is reach­ing a crit­i­cal level and we ap­peal to all South Africans – ac­tive donors, lapsed donors and po­ten­tial donors – to do­nate blood to bol­ster the na­tional blood stock,” Mlambo said.

The de­cline of blood avail­able coun­try­wide fol­lows an alarm­ing slump in KwaZulu-Natal this week.

The prov­ince had just 1.8 days of stock avail­able on Wed­nes­day, equat­ing to fewer than 200 units, lead­ing to the SANBS is­su­ing an ap­peal for donors in KZN.

A healthy blood stock in KwaZu­luNatal is 500 units of O blood a day.

“Un­for­tu­nately, the rest of South Africa finds it­self in al­most the same po­si­tion as KwaZulu-Natal less than 48 hours later, which is why we are call­ing on all South Africans to go to their lo­cal donor cen­tre and do­nate blood,” said Mlambo.

He ex­plained that blood was crit­i­cal for can­cer pa­tients and women in child­birth, who con­sti­tute the two big groups of peo­ple re­quir­ing blood trans­fu­sions.

“So many peo­ple in life-threat­en­ing sit­u­a­tions re­quire blood.

“It’s what saves a haem­or­rhag­ing mother’s life, so that she can raise and love the baby she has just brought into the world.

“It’s what saves some­one suf­fer­ing com­pli­ca­tions dur­ing ma­jor surgery.

“It’s what helps can­cer pa­tients en­dure and sur­vive treat­ment.

“And that’s the point, it’s not just blood. It’s sav­ing peo­ple’s lives, through a sim­ple, easy do­na­tion,” said Mlambo.

The SANBS has ap­pealed to all South Africans to do­nate blood im­me­di­ately.

“More than that, how­ever, the SANBS ap­peals to South Africans to be­come reg­u­lar donors. By do­nat­ing blood only four times a year, we can eas­ily avoid sit­u­a­tions such as the one in which we find our­selves,” said Mlambo.

To find out more about do­nat­ing blood and to lo­cate your near­est SANBS donor cen­tre, see za or call 0800 11 90 31.

A donor gives blood at the N1 City blood bank.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.