What to do to donate blood

2016-06-08 06:00

BY donating a unit of blood, you can save up to three lives of patients in dire need of this precious gift of life.

By becoming a regular blood donor, it ensures that the safety of blood is maintained and makes it possible for the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) to collect sufficient safe blood to meet the demand.

Donating safe blood means you are participating in a vital community service to improve the quality of life for patients in need of blood transfusions.

The SANBS has various measures in place to protect the health and well-being of blood donors and patients.

These measures ensure that our blood supply is among the safest in the world.

Requirements to donate blood:

  • Weighing at least 50 kg or more.
  • Be between 16 and 65 of age.
  • Be in good health.
  • Lead a sexually safe lifestyle.
  • Consider your blood safe for transfusion to a patient.

One must never donate blood to receive a free HIV test, as it places the lives of patients at risk. To know your HIV status and to receive proper treatment, potential donors should visit HIV testing centres to have themselves tested.

Donation procedures:

  • Complete a questionnaire containing personal details.
  • Answer questions relating to health, social behaviour and lifestyle.
  • Participate in a one-on-one interview as a follow-up to answers.
  • Have your iron (haemoglobin) level checked. Blood pressure and pulse rate will be taken.
  • A donor will be allowed to donate one unit of blood (480 ml).
  • Donating blood is safe and simple and takes about 30 minutes. All needles are new, sterile, used only once and incinerated after use.
    Z www.sanbs.org.za

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