SANBS pleads for blood donation

Johannesburg- The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) is again pleading for South Africans to donate due to declining blood stock.

They have asked that especially those with Group O consider donating. Group O is considered the universal blood group because anyone – regardless of blood type can receive it without risking infection.

Siemi Prithvi Raj, SANBS Executive for Transfusion Donor Services said they have been experiencing very low Group O blood collections in the past several weeks, which places them under immense pressure.

“Our stocks are approaching critically low levels and we are appealing to South Africans to donate a unit of blood in aid of those who may need it. Blood donations go beyond just the person who receives a transfusion – its’ not just blood, it’s saving a nation,” said Prithvi Raj.

He also mentioned that with students, which make up a large proportion of the national, focusing and writing exams, this has negatively impacted the national blood supply.

“Blood drives at university campuses and schools yield about 40% of the blood collected annually. Although systems are in place to minimise the effects of shortages experienced during exams, blood collections have been especially low in the past few months. The use of blood products in hospitals have also increased in the last month adding more pressure on the blood supply. With the help of our donors, we have been able to carry out the monumental task of keeping our blood stocks stable, despite the challenges at hand. Our plea is that all healthy and capable donors visit their nearest donation site to donate blood,” he said.

They have planned various blood drives around the country, with extended hours, as well as weekend blood drives to improve the supply of blood during this period.

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