Blood stocks are slowly increasing, but remain lower than the five days cover required.
Since the beginning of the year the demand for blood has been consistently higher than the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) collections, especially for blood groups O and B.
“We would like to thank our donors for increased collections, but we are not in the safe zone yet,” says Thandi Mosupye, SANBS Senior Manager: Marketing, Communication and Brand. “We urge everyone including active donors, lapsed donors and potential donors to continue donating consistently to ensure ongoing adequate national stocks.”
To cater adequately for the country’s blood requirements, an allocation of 3 500 units of blood is needed daily to serve the needs of hospitals and clinical requirements.
Five days cover, on average, is the minimum safe supply needed in the blood bank. Currently SANBS is collecting enough blood supply for three days, which is an improvement from 2,7 days last week but remains under the national requirement of five days.
To allow access to this life saving treatment without delay in a crisis, SANBS has also implemented around 450 emergency fridges that are stocked with only Group O red cells (the universal blood group that can go to groups O, A, B and AB) – to be used in life threatening bleeding situations.
SANBS is appealing to everyone who is eligible to donate blood and willing to help save lives, to find their nearest donation centre by visiting the website www.sanbs.org.za, call 0800 11 90 31, or go to @theSANBS on all major social media platforms. To be eligible to donate blood, you have to be between 16 and 75-year-old and weight more than 50 kg.