90-year-old donates over 400 pints of blood

2016-06-17 09:35
Netcare Milpark Hospital general manager Anton Gillis congratulates 90-year-old Maurice Creswick on his blood donation achievements, which have been recognised by Guinness World Records. (Netcare 911)

Netcare Milpark Hospital general manager Anton Gillis congratulates 90-year-old Maurice Creswick on his blood donation achievements, which have been recognised by Guinness World Records. (Netcare 911)

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Johannesburg – The Guinness Book of World Records has recognised a 90-year-old South African as the oldest regular blood donor.

Maurice Creswick has donated 413 pints, or 195.4 litres, of blood since he first began his lifesaving habit in 1944, at the age of 18.

Guinness paid homage to Creswick on Tuesday, June 14, World Blood Donor Day.

Asked what motivates him to keep donating blood, the sprightly nonagenarian said: “It is because I can do so much for so many people with such little effort.”

On Wednesday, Creswick visited Netcare Milpark Hospital as part of his campaign to encourage South Africans to donate blood.

An inspiration

Milpark Hospital’s trauma programme manager, Rene Grobler, said Creswick was an inspiration.

“The idea is to encourage as many staff, patients, visitors and other members of the public as possible to do their bit for our country through donating blood. At Netcare Milpark Hospital, we are lucky enough to have Mr Creswick, a world champion and true blood donation veteran, who will be cheering on our efforts,” Grobler said.

This year’s World Blood Donor Day was commemorated under the theme “Blood connects us all”.

One pint of blood could save up to three lives. According to the International Red Cross, Creswick could have touched up to 1 239 lives through his blood donation over the years.

According to the SA National Blood Service (SANBS), as of Tuesday, the country’s blood stock reserve was only enough for 2.6 days. SANBS needed a stock level of five days to ensure it could meet demand.

The gift of life

Donated blood is commonly given to accident victims, people who are severely anaemic, surgical patients, and women who have lost blood while giving birth.

“When you donate blood, you are giving the gift of life and there is no more profound way to express care for your fellow South Africans than by sharing your life blood. Keeping yourself healthy so that you can continue to donate blood, like our blood donation champion, Mr Creswick, is its own reward,” Grobler said.

Grobler said in order to maintain and meet the demand of the thousands of patients in need of blood transfusions, SANBS needed to collect 3 000 units of blood per day.

- See the SA National Blood Service website.

According to the World Health Organisation, there are on average only 11.7 donations per 1 000 people in middle-income countries such as South Africa, compared to 33.1 donations per 1 000 people in high-income countries.

“We really want to improve on this ratio as South Africans are renowned for their spirit of ubuntu, and blood donation is a logical extension of this.”

If you are donating blood for the first time you:

-Must be between the ages of 16 and 65;

-Must have a body mass of at least 50kg;

-Practice safe sex;

-Be free of diseases such as HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B and C.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  good news  |  health

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