Video: Behind the scenes at a blood processing lab

accreditation

As South Africa observes National Blood Donor month, we take you behind the scenes in the labs of the South African National Blood Service (SANBS).

Here, a dedicated team processes donated blood and ensures that it passes stringent tests and analysis.

Each unit of donated blood is tested for HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Syphilis. Only blood that tests negative for all of these diseases is passed on to patients in need at blood banks and hospitals.

According to Eriana Booysen, head of processing at SANBS, the Service never has more than three days of blood stored up in its reserves. Due to this and the need to increase blood reserves, the SANBS encourages people to consider becoming donors. 

People between the ages of 16 and 65, who weigh more than 50 kilograms and lead a sexually safe lifestyle are eligible to register as donors. 

A single donation of blood can save up to three lives, because technicians at the SANBS labs are able to separate the blood into different components – like plasma, platelets and red cell concentrates – to help various patients with different ailments. 

We spent an afternoon learning about all the activities that take place in the lab – Health-e News 

Watch: What happens to blood at the South African National Blood Service

Read more: 

Top excuses for not donating blood 

The health benefits of donating blood

Wait a month to donate blood after visiting a Zika area

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes
29% - 9758 votes
No
71% - 24086 votes
Vote