SA facing blood shortage: Report

2013-01-05 13:00

Johannesburg - South Africa is facing a shortage of blood stocks as the national level dips to only a two-day supply, according to a media report on Saturday.

Due to the low supply, blood will only be given in "absolute core emergencies" such as accidents, SA National Blood Service spokesperson Vanessa Raju told the Saturday Star.

Some planned surgeries and treatments requiring blood will be put off until stocks are restored.

"It is not a good situation to be in but we have to make do...until the situation changes," she said.

Raju said national blood stocks should be at a five day supply but donations have fallen off due to the holiday.

"People are on holiday and now some will be busy with getting their children ready for the new school year, so blood donation is not high on the list of things to do, resulting in low levels," Raju told the paper.

  • sabeer.mahomed.3 - 2013-01-05 13:23

    Just as these hospitals rip us off for every little thing, they must start paying us for our blood donated. Shortage problem solved.

      andrez.kolesky - 2013-01-05 14:01

      I'm not walking around with an empty arm for nobody.

      colin.dovey - 2013-01-05 14:20

      Being paid for giving your blood may set a bad precedent. Not a good idea.

      ronald.stilianou - 2013-01-05 14:46

      Xavier, why, it's being done in the states, and it might just be a hot meal for someone that needs it.

      LanfearM - 2013-01-05 14:51

      Agreed sabeer.mahomed! If they start paying people for blood donations, as already happens in many countries in the world, it will definitely fill the "coffers" of the blood bank! When I go to hospital for an operation and get a blood transfusion, I have to pay for the blood [unless you store your own]. So why not pay people to donate.

      kobus.swart.75 - 2013-01-05 14:53

      Okay, Xavier, but to pay for your own blood you donated is not such a bad idea? I used to donate blood till the bloodbank told me that a patient has to pay for blood, even if you donate blood. So, hospitals and doctors make money on your blood .... good idea??? I don't think so. I will ONLY donate blood to family members in emergencies.

  • chaze.damonze - 2013-01-05 13:34

    Tried giving blood. Had low iron... Actually felt kinda helpless... Well rare steaks for me

      LanfearM - 2013-01-05 14:52

      Best way to eat a steak anyway, lol. Get some good quality iron supplements too, but guess you know that.

  • miles.foster.10 - 2013-01-05 13:47

    The health sector is not taking blood donations seriously at all. Maesure should be taken by the sector to attend and prevent the situation of blood shortages. Vacancies should be created for people to work on holidays. Add more to the campaigns that are already there.hope this agent matter will awake them.

      charlesbronson.bronson - 2013-01-05 14:59

      Poor Management!!

  • pws69 - 2013-01-05 14:02

    Just returned from donating at Fourways Mall. They have a tent in the parking lot open until 3pm.

  • morrisn2 - 2013-01-05 14:15

    Its easy 2 talk crap whn u never found yourself/ family member in dire need of blood! Nobody is pushed 2 donate, u do it at ur own will. Lets try 2mature and comment in a way that will help others grow,use this platform 2atleast try comment constructively

      LanfearM - 2013-01-05 14:53

      It should be enforced, either by law or by paying donators. Most people need an incentive to contribute. The way of humans.

      buzzardfrey - 2013-01-05 15:23

      Agreed Morrisn2. I was toying with the idea of stopping donating a while ago when one evening while visiting my mother in hospital I saw a car from SANBS on hospital premises - possibly delivering blood stocks. I got a bit emotional when it dawned on me that donations I make once every 56 days were really saving people's lives like my mom. Lanfear, it's very correct that our nation is very incentive-driven and something needs to done in that direction. Perhaps a day off from work after every two donations in a year won't harm the economy?

  • Bertverlinde - 2013-01-05 14:16

    I'd like to know what the percentages are of blood donations vs blood requirements per race group. Don't take this the wrong way but I've only seen 10% of the population present when donating whenever I've donated.

  • thapelo.gaebetse.9 - 2013-01-05 14:21

    Wow,such miracle,fear blood donation so much.

      ronald.stilianou - 2013-01-05 14:50


  • Ndangah Alan Mmberegeni - 2013-01-05 14:35

    people we need to stop negative and think positive, we must donate blood, it can be anyone or you who does not want to donate blood, we jst have to help one another, my blood type is O positive

      charlesbronson.bronson - 2013-01-05 15:01

      The positive, pay me! The negative charge me for blood?

  • appa.vanwyk - 2013-01-05 15:14

    Nog geen reaksie... Appa van Wyk > South African National Blood Service Is it true that SANBS do not want to employ any white people? And if so, why? I heard a rumer and would like to verify it with SANBS before I make a personal comment on it. Dec 26, 2012 · · Like · Remove

  • obadia.segwape - 2013-01-05 15:20

    why cant these idiots clone blood or let us sell our bloods to them

  • priscilla.prinsloo.5 - 2013-01-05 16:14

    Donate blood?? Few years back my dad was fighting for his life. He donated blood for many years. Took him to state hospital which was so poorly that we decided to lend some money and safe him from dying. He was bleeding internally. I had to rush to the hospital where the blood was kept to get bags of blood. When he came out of hospital we received a bill of R5500. I phoned them and told them he is a donor and they said we still have to pay, I told them no way in hell then I am going to tell everybody. My dad had no Medical aid. The reacted fast and cleared the bill. He never went back to donate. I stopped donating as well.

  • will.cronje.7 - 2013-01-05 16:17

    I wont donate. Firstly, my blood is not accepted as I'm gay. Secondly, donation is free, but they charge a buttload to transfuse when you need it. Thirdly, white people are not allowed to work for them. So yeah, ill take my chances.

      mocking.bird.3517 - 2013-01-05 17:08

      Wow!This boy is a female

  • leonard.menge - 2013-01-05 16:20

    we blacks dont know that blood can be donated its not in our psyche plus that most of our blood has high toxins loads from viruses and dysfuctional DNA...

      Malose-Nyatlo - 2013-01-05 16:35

      'We Blacks'?

      mapitsi.mogale - 2013-01-05 18:43

      You must be joking Leonard, WE? Think again man

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2013-01-05 16:43

    I laugh every time I answer the ridiculous qustionnaire. If I lie, what will they do - sue me?

      pjs.jamie - 2013-01-05 17:18

      No, your blood is still stringently tested no matter what you answer. But certain people have no problem admitting to certain answers and either that excludes them from all future donations ( at least you tried and have valid reasons why you cant) or you have to wait a short while. It is not just about the blood they take they want to be sure about, they want to look after you as a patient as well. Now imagine if we paid people to donate, how many liars would we get then? An unpaid volunteer has no reason to lie, they arent gaining by donating. Statistically unsafe blood would eventually get through the system if the amount they receive is laden with unsafe donations. No system is perfect enough to prevent that.

  • richardnealejohn.underwood - 2013-01-05 17:03

    @ LEONARD MENGE : Brilliant , that was damn funny ! Thanks

  • pjs.jamie - 2013-01-05 17:10

    The only safe source of blood is from an unpaid volunteer donor and even then they are not always 100% aware of any harmful agents they may be carrying. Giving money as an incentive is the worst way to try and get safe blood. Money is proven to cause donors to lie just so they can get their payout. And i do not want to pigeon-hole groups of people but the reality is that poorer income groups also tend to have higher carrier rates of infectious blood borne diseases. Sad but true. Do NOT use america as a shining beacon of safe blood donation. They are far from it for the reasons i just mentioned. I spent 6 months researching this exact topic. It is costly to process, store and transport blood and that is why patients must unfortunately pay, but they pay for a safe product. If we got paid to donate, the end patient would also pay even more. So do not say the poor could somehow benefit. If they cant afford a meal, they are in no safe condition to be donating, it is not safe for their bodies.

  • drienie.mayo - 2013-01-05 17:24

    I understand why there is a shortage of blood. It is because the majority in the country namely people of colour only contribute 10% of donations while the minority in South Africa donate 90%. There is 3000 transfusions in South Africa everyday and Only 34 000 of the 350 000 donors around the country are black,” and the irony is that 80% of patients needing blood transfusions are black.” Well they did say they want everything, either by force or by donation....They get it...

      david.banner.104418 - 2013-01-05 18:29

      As much as some blacks Hate the whites. Our blood flows in their veins. :-)

  • rudzanimulaudzi.mulaudzi - 2013-01-05 17:42

    Someone please make me understand here. If I need blood why can't they ask my brother or sister to donate. Is this because the mother have children with different fathers, or the father is from another country or is not everybody who can donate, help me out.

      mapitsi.mogale - 2013-01-05 19:09

      Rudzani my dear blood is categorised in blood types as AB,A,B,O,O . Its posible that your own mother wont have the blood type as yours

  • mapitsi.mogale - 2013-01-05 18:46

    Why dont you always go to where the people are staying rather than wait for them to come to you

  • marco.twala.9 - 2013-01-05 19:13

    Thing is, people think they pay for blood that was donated, of which is untrue. How could you sell something you never purchased? SANBS doesn't sell blood. Recipients pay for the service provided to them, and all the processes that went through from blood being collected, transported, tested to ensuring that whom ever is going to be tranfused, gets safe blood. And does any of you know how much that cost? Its expensive, there are people who are being paid to do their job in insuring that patients get blood, safe blood. The goverment pay million in public hospital, think about the process that has gone through until the transfusion takes place.

  • wentzel.vermaak - 2013-01-05 22:57

    Ek het baie bloed geskenk en pa het ok geskenk hy het al n medal gekry vir ditons het altyt op ons tye gaan skenk en n 2003 was ek in n groot bike ongeluk en het bloed verloor ek was nog altyd onder die undruk dat ek of my family vierniet bloed gaan kry maar nee ons moes die bloed koop ed dus hoekom nie een van ons meer skenk nie bai jammer

  • Peter Zylstra - 2013-01-06 07:40

    Since the SANBS's policy is to employ only blacks, all whites should stop donating blood.

  • annie.israel.50 - 2013-01-06 15:33

    People are on holiday bla...bal.... people are too scared to give blood as it might be infected with HIV/AIDS virus or perhaps that they are now CHARGING - in the rest of the world it is FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • appa.vanwyk - 2013-01-07 00:01

    NO WONDER?? Solidarity is representing two of its members who were prevented from applying for posts on account of their skin colour. The blood service embarked on a space- creation strategy in July this year and offered severance packages for white employees above the age of 55, thereby creating 14 vacancies. The vacancies were subsequently advertised and it was stipulated in the advertisement that only black people could apply for the posts in question. An absolute restriction may not be placed on the promotion of white people.' In September this year Solidarity applied for an urgent interdict to prevent the SANBS from proceeding to fill posts while the court case was in progress. However, the Labour Court ruled that the case was not one of urgency and turned down the application. The legal action comes after the trade union's campaign against Woolworths who advertised posts that were only open to black Africans. Following the campaign, employees of the SANBS contacted Solidarity, as the blood service had also advertised posts that were only open to black South Africans. Statement issued by Dirk Groenewald, Head: Labour Court division, Solidarity, December 11 2012

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