Members of the public are being called to donate blood during the course of today and this week as the Western Province Blood Transfusion Service (WPBTS) blood bank is critically low.
Without the aid of locals to replenish supplies, the blood banks currently only have enough blood to supply the demands of the province for one more day.
Western Cape Blood Transfusion Service spokesperson, Michelle Vermeulen attributes the current critical shortage to the effects the winter season has on the public.
“This is mainly due to the winter colds and flu and also donors that don’t want to come out during the colder weather,” she said.
Vermeulen explained that there are selected times during the year that result in a pattern of blood shortages for the province.
“WPBTS do have times during the year where we would tend to have a blood shortage such as Easter weekend, Christmas holiday and winter periods,” says Vermeulen.
Donations are affected by many incidents which cause dangerous shortages, according to the Western Cape Blood Transfusion Service.
“This is due to various factors such as holidays, where residents go on holiday and don’t necessarily go to donate blood. Our regular donors suffer from colds and flu and also can’t donate,” she said
The WPBTS is encouraging the public to donate at their nearest blood donation point available.
“We are therefore always asking anyone who is eligible to donate to come and donate blood. You have to be older than 16 and younger than 65, weigh more than 50kg and be healthy on the day of donation,” Vermeulen said.
There is currently a critical shortage of O positive along with low levels of O negative and A positive blood that is slowly decreasing.
— WP Blood Service (@WPBlood) September 17, 2018
Cape Town CBD, Long Street
This blood donation branch is located in the heart of the CBD and is convenient for those working in the area.
Address: 22 Long St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town
Date: Monday – Friday
Time: 8.30am – 4.15pm