The Western Cape Blood Service (WCBS) is encouraging donors to please continue to donate blood, despite its reserves being sufficient at the moment. Previously, the Service had struggled to replenish its reserves of the O and B groups.
“Our blood stocks are sufficient at the moment, however, we do encourage donors to please continue supporting us and to donate blood to ensure a safe and sufficient blood supply in the Western Cape,” said WCBS.
According to the Service, lockdown has not been too much of a deterrent for those who wish to donate. “Donating blood is seen as essential travel and we are thankful that our donors have come out during lockdown to support us.”
Donors are also reminded that donating blood during the COVID-19 pandemic is safe, as there is currently no reason to suspect that the virus can travel through blood.
“Routine blood donor health assessment measures that are already in place will prevent individuals with clinical respiratory infections from donating blood. For example, blood donors must be in good health on the day of donation, and be negative for any risk factors surveyed by the blood donor questionnaire,” the Service website stipulated.
As a precaution, WCBS requests blood donors to refrain from presenting to donate blood if they have:
– Recently returned from travel outside of South Africa’s borders;
– Lived with individuals diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19 infection;
– Been diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19 infection.
“The WCBS would also like to reassure blood donors that as part of our daily protocols, clinic staff maintain a high level of hand hygiene. Staff sanitise their hands regularly by washing their hands with soap and water in addition to using hand sanitiser before and after each encounter with a donor. Hand sanitiser and wet wipes will also be readily available for donors to use at each clinic,” it added.
The WCBS urges donors to take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of fellow citizens. If you are feeling unwell or exhibiting any clinical symptoms of infection (fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat and shortness of breath), please seek medical attention or contact the NICD hotline on 0800 029 999. And, should you develop Coronavirus infection within 28 days of donating blood, please urgently contact the WCBS Medical Staff on (021) 507 6319, 507 6320, or 507 6329.
Should you require any additional information or if you would like to find a blood donation clinic close to you, please contact the WCBS on 021 507 6300 or view the Where Can I Donate page for more information.
Donors are reminded to eat or drink something three to four hours before donating, as this will prevent a feeling of light-headedness after the donation.
“We have extended some of our residential clinic hours in order to accommodate donors to come and donate blood and also ensure social distancing takes place,” the Service said.
Click here to find out where you are still able to donate.