Save lives, donate blood

2017-05-30 06:01
Support Blood Donor Day on 14 June. Photo: supplied

Support Blood Donor Day on 14 June. Photo: supplied

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SUBSEQUENT to a successful wellness day in April where the Compass Donor Drive had 11 new blood donors and a total of 22 people donating on the day, they have arranged for a second SANBS blood drive to be held at head office on Friday, 9 June between 9am and 1pm in anticipation of World Blood Donor Day on Wednesday, 14 June.

According to Dr Thapelo Motshudi, donating blood saves people’s lives.

“A transfusion is needed when people have lost a lot of blood over a short or long period of time, or when they are not able to produce enough blood cells.

“Examples include women who bleed excessively during pregnancy or delivery, victims of trauma or motor vehicle accidents, patients undergoing surgery and those with anaemia or other illnesses like cancer.

“It is important to note that blood donors do not get paid, because this has to be an act of selflessness.”

There are four types of blood groups - A, B, AB and O.

“These are further categorised as Rh+ or Rh-, based on the Rhesus classification. People with blood group O- can donate blood to everyone and are called universal donors. Those with blood group AB+ can receive blood from everyone and are thus called universal recipients.

“Group O is in greater demand and these donors are asked to donate regularly because their blood is especially useful during emergencies, when there is no time to check for compatibility.”

Motshudi said one of the frequently asked questions is can one get HIV from donating? “While nothing is ever completely risk free, the chance of acquiring any disease from a blood transfusion, including HIV, is so low that one can consider it to be negligible.

“Donated blood is rigorously tested for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, syphilis, and HIV 1 and 2. Every unit of blood collected goes through the same stringent testing. So, it does not matter if it’s your first time, or if you are a regular donor, your blood still gets tested every time you donate.”

In addition anyone over the age of 16, who weighs at least 50 kg, is healthy, does not have anaemia, is not on certain types of medication and whose social behaviour does not place them at an increased risk of transmitting HIV or hepatitis, can donate.

“Pregnant women and people who have had recent surgery are not allowed to donate.” To find out more or to donate email taryn@compass.za.net - Supplied.

FACTS ABOUT BLOOD DONATION

• An average human being has about five litres of blood at any one time

• Donated blood is replaced within 24 hours if one takes in enough fluids, although red blood cells take much longer to replace

• Only 480 mL can be donated at a time and one can only donate blood every 56 days so your body has enough time to recover

• Approximately 112 million blood donations are collected globally, mainly from high-income countries

• Blood has a number of components and donations can include whole blood, red blood cells, platelets or plasma.

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