There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has taken centre stage as vaccination reminders, statistics and heartbreaking stories about those who have succumbed to the virus floods our social media feeds.
However, it’s important to bear in mind that there are people who have life-threatening illnesses unrelated to COVID-19, and in dire need of a blood transfusion.
With this in mind, the Western Cape Blood Service (WCBS) appeals to all eligible donors to donate blood as blood stocks are critically low.
According to Red Cross, here are reasons why patients may need a blood transfusion:
- Most patients who have a major surgical procedure will have a blood transfusion to replace any blood loss during their surgery.
- Blood transfusions are used for patients who have experienced serious injuries from car crashes or natural disasters.
- Individuals with an illness that causes anemia, such as leukemia or kidney disease, will often be the recipients of blood transfusions.
“We always aim to have a blood stock level of 5-days. Currently there is a critical shortage in the O blood group”, says Marike Gevers, Public Relations Manager at WCBS as per Goodthingsguy.
“A single blood donation can mean the universe to somebody. It only takes 30 minutes of your time and you can save up to 3 lives with 1 donation”, Gevers adds.
Here are the requirements to become a blood donor:
- You should be between the ages of 16 – 75
- You should weigh more than 50kg
- You must be healthy
- You must lead a sexually safe lifestyle
- You must be willing to help others
What you should bear in mind:
- Donations usually takes 30 minutes.
- Remember to eat a balanced meal four hours before you donate.
- Make sure to tell staff members if you are a new blood donor. You will be asked to fill a confidential questionnaire and your iron and blood pressure will be checked.
Find a blood drive that’s convenient for you on the website: bit.ly/WCBSclinics.
There are three permanent blood donor centres in Cape Town at N1 City Mall, Blue Route Mall and 9 Long Street. There are also have many mobile blood drives that visit communities across Cape Town and the Western Cape.