Home South African Blood stocks critically low in South Africa, warns SANBS

Blood stocks critically low in South Africa, warns SANBS

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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.

SANBS is appealing to the public to make venues available for blood drives. File picture: Matthew Jordaan

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 – and 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. As a result, blood stocks continue to dwindle.

“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.

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.

For more information contact the SANBS call centre on 0800 11 9031 or visit their website on www.sanbs.org.za.

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