THE South African National Blood Service (SANBS) is calling on all citizens to donate blood as this precious resource is at significantly low levels.
Rather than the desired five-day stocks for all blood types, B- is at three days’ supply, O+ 3.4 days and O- 3.9 days.
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The remaining blood types are at five days’ supply.
Less than 1% of South Africans are active blood donors.
A unit of blood only lasts 42 days after donation and, for this reason, it is important for blood donors to donate regularly.
Donors can give blood as often as every eight weeks.
Every unit of blood can save a minimum of three lives as blood is separated into red blood cells, plasma and platelets.
SANBS aims to collect 3 000 units of blood per day to ensure a safe and sufficient blood supply in the health care system.
This is the journey of one unit of donated blood.
There are many blood donation centres around the country, with this region’s nearest one being at the Boardwalk Inkwazi Shopping Centre in Richards Bay.
Or you may consider motivating your employer to host a blood drive at your offices for the convenience of all staff members.
What is the significance of my blood group?
All donors belong to one of four blood groups: A, B, AB or O.Â. You are also classified as either Rh positive or Rh negative.
There are therefore eight different main blood groups.
Not all blood groups are compatible with each other and the success of modern transfusion medicine depends on classifying and matching donors and patients correctly.
Group O blood is known as the universal blood type, as it can be given to patients of any blood group.
Blood is life
From the day that human life is conceived, blood fulfils a life giving and nurturing role.
Blood is the fluid of growth, transporting nourishment from digestion and hormones from glands throughout the body.
Blood is the fluid of health, transporting disease fighting substances to the tissue and body waste to the kidneys.
Because it contains living cells, blood is alive. Unlike medications that are manufactured, blood cannot be manufactured.
Healthy donors are the only source of blood for those who need it.
If it was not for blood donors, life-saving medical treatment for children with life threatening anaemia, trauma victims, women with pregnancy related complications, organ transplants, bone marrow transplants, complicated surgical procedures and cancer treatments would not be possible.
Who can donate?
Minimum requirements to donate blood are:
* Between the ages of 16 and 75
* Weigh a minimum of 50kg
* You are in good health
* You lead a low risk lifestyle
* You have not donated blood in the last 56 days
* Your blood pressure is below 180 systolic and 100 diastolic
For more information on donating blood, contact the Richards Bay blood bank on 035 7893610.
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