‘Tis the season for giving life, says SANBS
BLOOD stocks fluctuate throughout the year, and with just a short while until the festive season is in full swing, the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) has less than three days’ stock of group O blood.
This is much lower than the five days’ stock needed to sustain the country’s need.
The SANBS is facing severe blood stock shortages to the extent that there may not be sufficient available blood for patients in need over the festive season.
The SANBS is urgently appealing to all potential and existing blood donors that are due to donate, to visit a SANBS blood donation site, to donate their precious unit of blood.
Although the festive season is fun for most people, it is a difficult period for doctors who work hard to save lives, needing blood and blood products to do so.
“Traditionally, December is a difficult time for the SANBS, with limited access to corporate blood drives and availability of donors, impacting on the ability to collect the minimum of 3 500 units of blood a day that are needed to treat patients. We approach this season with low stocks and we know that we have some tough times ahead if donors do not respond to our call to lend a hand,” said Ravi Reddy, SANBS chief operations officer.
The SANBS’ inability to access venues for blood drives is also hampering meeting collection targets successfully. As a result, blood stocks continue to dwindle steadily.
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.
“As we head into the busy holiday season, we are facing a particularly challenging situation. All willing and eligible donors are urged to visit their nearest mobile and fixed donor centres. If you are able to host a blood drive, visit the SANBS’ website and book a blood drive,” said Reddy.
Contact the call centre on 0800 11 9031.