Blood crisis: please donate, SANBS urges

2008-01-10 00:00

Although Pietermaritzburg has seen an increase in blood donations over the last two days, the blood shortage around KwaZulu-Natal has worsened.

SANBS spokeswoman Ianthe Exall said the blood shortages are continuing and the current Type O blood stock is 973 units (one day’s supply) instead of the required 7 066 units of blood (seven days), while the current Type B blood stock is 393 units (one-and-a-half day’s supply) instead of the required 1 711 units of blood (seven days).

Exall attributed the shortages to the increase of blood usage caused by the increasing trauma and accident incidence rates over the festive season.

An urgent appeal is being made to blood donors, especially Type O blood donors, to donate blood at least four times a year.

Type O blood is needed urgently as it can be transfused to any patient in other blood groups in an emergency, or in areas where there is no available access to do cross-matching.

Exall added that the percentage of Type O individuals in SA’s population is about 47%, but 56% of blood used in hospitals is Type O.

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