Doing something remarkable – donating blood
Did you know that less than 1% of South Africans are active blood donors?
This is according to the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) who actively encourages healthy, eligible citizens to donate regularly, given that a unit of blood lasts only 42 days after it has been donated.
In the Western Cape, the donor percentage is slightly higher (1.5%) but the Western Cape Blood Service points out that 75% of the province’s population might require transfusions in their lifetime, according to research data.
Patients who undergo surgery, accident victims, people with cancer, children with severe anaemia, and women who suffer haemorrhaging in pregnancy all count among the patients who receive life-saving transfusions.
To ensure that stock levels are adequate to help all such patients across the province, the Western Cape Blood Service aims to maintain sufficient levels for five days for each blood group, and it encourages residents to “do something remarkable” by becoming donors.
Healthy individuals can donate as often as every eight weeks and have the potential to give up to 330 units in their lifetime. Every unit can save a minimum of three lives as blood is separated into red blood cells, plasma and platelets.
SCP shows collective support
When healthcare is a calling, it’s easy to say yes to the worthy cause – especially when Blood Donor Month heightens the collaborative spirit between colleagues.
And even though many staff members donate regularly, SCP once again took the opportunity this year to show collective support for the donation drives organised in June.
These are the picture highlights:
Want to donate blood?
You can become a donor if you are between 16 and 75 years old, weigh at least 50 kg, are in good health and lead a low-risk lifestyle. On the day of your donation, you should have had a balanced meal no more than four hours before and should not have donated in the last 56 days.
Staff will also screen donors for heartrate, haemoglobin levels and various other factors.
To find a donation clinic near you, click here.
*Additional source: Mediclinic Infohub.