The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) blood donation drive on World Blood Donor Day, 14 June, saw a record of 5 413 people flocking to blood donor centres. Silungile Mlambo, national marketing officer for the SANBS, said the tally for the entire weeklong drive (held from 11 to 15 June) was 21 874 people. She said 6 763 were new or lapsed donors who had joined the crusade to save lives. The initiative encourages healthy people to donate blood by highlighting the need to maintain a stable supply of blood and blood products.“With more than 17 600 successful donations, and with each unit being used for up to three procedures, this means South Africans helped us to potentially save more than 52 000 lives,” Mlambo said. “We are over the moon that our amazing cohort of regular volunteers, plus an influx of new donors and those who hadn’t donated in a long time, came to donate in their thousands. “This led to us exceeding our donation target by a massive 153%. “We are especially encouraged by the fact that, during Youth Month, 34% of the blood donated came from people under the age of 30,” she said.According to Mlambo, 153% is the most that has been “bled” in South Africa on World Blood Donor Day since 2012. “This gives us a huge boost in our mission to save and enhance lives,” she said. Potential donors can find out where their nearest blood donation centre is by visiting www.sanbs.org.za or calling 0800-11-90-31.