NATIONAL NEWS - The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) is calling on South Africans to donate blood as it faces severe blood stock shortages.
SANBS chief operations officer Ravi Reddy said that the institution had less than three days’ stock of group O blood – much lower than the five days’ stock needed to sustain the country’s need.
“This means we are facing severe blood stock shortages. 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.
“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. 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 3500 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 Reddy.
He has appealed to the public to make venues available for blood drives.
“Our group O blood stocks have dropped significantly and we are appealing to all South Africans to donate a unit of blood in aid of those in need of it,” added Reddy.
“As we head into the busy holiday season, we are facing a particularly challenging situation.”
Among the issues hampering blood donation in the country was the inability to access venues for blood drives, added SANBS spokesperson Khensani Mahlangu.
“What happens over the festive season is that we have lots of accidents on the roads, so we need to supply blood consistently. But also, our loyal donors might take vacation to a place where there is no access to a donation centre. We encourage people to come and donate their blood before they go on vacation so that we can keep our blood stocks up.
“We got kicked out of schools, universities and corporates, where we frequently conduct our drives,” she told Newzroom Afrika on Wednesday.