Ricochet News

PE residents encouraged to donate blood

PE residents encouraged to donate blood

The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) is committed to prevent a national blood shortage, to give patients, their families and medical staff peace of mind this festive season.

The aim is to collect 3 000 units of safe blood per day to ensure that the demands of patients throughout the country can be met. The past two months proved extremely challenging and the daily target was rarely achieved which resulted in severe shortages nationally.

SANBS currently has a donor panel of 478 000 donors of which 390 000 are active donors, which is less than one percent of the country’s population. With such a small database of regular committed blood donors, the task to collect sufficient safe blood becomes increasingly difficult. To ensure sustainability in providing this essential, life-saving service to patients, SANBS needs to sign up at least 15% new donors every day and equally important is to retain regular donors.

Blood can be donated as frequently as every 56 days. SANBS encourages all due donors to make a special effort to visit a blood donor centre or mobile site that is convenient to make that life-saving donation. An extension of this good and selfless gesture would be to encourage one other person to join you, preferably a first time blood donor, to assist SANBS in the mammoth task of reaching 15% new donors.

The Port Elizabeth branch has planned various special blood drive promotions over the festive season and into January 2015 with extended hours and additional weekend blood drives.  The idea is to remain on people’s minds and to be accessible, convenient and visible.

SANBS provides such an essential service to so many people, but all of this is made possible by the public, since they are simply the middleman in this entire process.  Fostering the sense of community and caring about our neighbour becomes less tangible and visible in bigger cities compared to smaller towns, but blood donation is an ideal opportunity to relive this ideal.

To become a blood donor – you need to:

  • Be between the ages of 16 and 65
  • Weigh more than 50 kg
  • Be in good health
  • Consider your blood safe for transfusion to a patient
  • Lead a sexually safe lifestyle

 For more information contact our call centre on 0800 119 031 or visit our website on www.sanbs.org.za.