NATIONAL NEWS - The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) is facing severe blood stock shortages, to the extent that there may not be sufficient blood available 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.
The blood service says 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 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.
“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.
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.