Blood service desperately needs shot in arm
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 sanbs.org. za or call 0800 11 90 31.
A donor gives blood at the N1 City blood bank.