Blood supply critical

2017-11-08 06:00

The matric and other end-of-year examinations are reported to be leaving blood stocks in a perilous state because of the lack of blood drives the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) can hold at schools and universities.

It appears that November is going to prove to be a difficult month for the SANBS.

According to the SANBS, there is a critical shortage of blood across the country, with blood stocks at just 1,5 days of group O stock, equating to 1 473 units as of 1 November.

In its appeal for South Africans to donate blood immediately, the SANBS revealed that the blood stock in the Free State, Northern Cape and the Vaal are at 1,7 days.

The situation is considered a crisis when blood stocks dip below two days of stock available.

“The blood stock in the country is dangerously low compared to a healthy blood stock of 3 000 units or five days’ supply,” says Silungile Mlambo of the SANBS.

Mlambo says blood is critical for cancer patients and women in childbirth, who constitute by far the greatest groups of people requiring blood transfusions.

“So many people in life-threatening situations require blood.

It’s what saves a haemorrhaging mo­ther’s life, so that she can raise and love the baby she has just brought into the world.

“And that’s the point: It’s not just blood, it’s saving people’s lives through a simple, easy donation,” says Mlambo.

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