The Western Province Blood Transfusion service (WPBTS) has made an urgent appeal for locals to donate blood, amidst an expected increase in festive season accidents that may deplete the current blood stocks. With the holiday season drawing to a close in the coming weeks, the country’s roads are expected to be packed with holiday makers returning home; increasing the likelihood of major accidents.
And whilst the WPBTS currently have a four and a half day blood supply, available, corporate public relations officer, Marlize van der Merwe, said there was a possibility that those supplies could dip in the coming days.
“We still need donations to come in, because it is an everyday struggle for us. One day things might be fine and we might have enough stock, but depending on what happens during the day and the course of the night, we might have a crisis (the next day),” she explained.
The WPBTS currently has three permanent clinics in Cape Town, located at N1 City in Goodwood, Blue Route Mall in Tokai, and 22 Long Street in the CBD. The first two are open 7 days a week, with the latter open during weekdays. The organization also has several mobile clinics that go out to residential areas, shopping malls and educational institutions, in order to bring the drive to the community.
Despite receiving quite a number of enquiries about the setting up of mobile clinics, Van der Merwe said they would first be required to conduct inspections to ensure the space available was conducive to hosting a clinic.
“We have a lot of equipment that has to sit into that space. We go out and have a look at that space, and find out how many people are willing to donate blood. We urge people to contact us if they think they have a community that is able and willing to donate blood to us,” she said.
Upon being drawn, the blood is taken to the WPBTS head offices for testing, which will determine the blood type as well as check for any major blood infections or diseases. It is then transferred to the organizations blood bank, before being distributed to the various hospitals.
Because of the amount of blood that will likely be drawn, potential donors are advised to eat well before donating, as well as gaining sufficient sleep the night before.
The full scheduling of all WPBTS clinics and mobile clinics is available on the organizations website, at www.wpblood.org.za. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)