By Anees Teladia
The Western Cape Blood Service is urgently calling for donations as their blood stock levels continue to fall. The service is currently at a low stock level of two days – three days less than their desired maintenance level. While the winter season has a strong negative impact on blood donations (as many people fall ill and are unable to donate), the demand for blood does not necessarily decrease. As such, trauma victims of various circumstances such as – including but not limited to – disaster, accidents, violence and pregnancy and childbirth complications may be in dire straits with such a low supply of blood available.
“We need to ensure that we collect 700 units of blood daily, to meet the demand for blood in the Western Cape. It’s important that everybody comes forward and donates,” urged corporate public relations officer for the Western Cape Blood Service, Michelle Vermeulen.
“Two blood types are common in South Africa: O-Positive (O+) and A-Positive(A+). Both blood types also have the same statistical commonality, with one in every three South Africans being either O+ or A+.”
The “O” blood group is a universal group, meaning that all O+ donors are able to supply all other positive blood groups. Similarly, all O-Negative (O – ) blood donors can supply all negative blood groups.
“That’s why they run quite low so fast. At the moment, those two groups are at a critically low level,” said Vermeulen.
The criteria for blood donation are as follows:
- You need to be between the ages of 16 and 75 *
- Weigh at least 50kg
- Be medically healthy on the day of donation
- You must lead a safe lifestyle **
- Be willing to helping others
For further information, you are encouraged to contact the Western Cape Blood Service.
Find details below
- Head Office Phone: 021 507 6300
- e-Mail email@example.com
- Or SMS “Blood” to 33507 and they’ll get back to you.
*According to the WCBS, you can still donate if you are over 74 and are otherwise healthy. However, the WCBS will need your physician’s consent.
** Things that are considered risky by the WCBS include drug use, multiple sexual partners and tattoos or piercings which have been done in the last six months. Competitive athletes training for an event and those involved in what is deemed a hazardous occupation will also not be allowed to donate for their own safety.