SEE: What happens to your donated blood?

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One unit of donated blood can save up to 3 lives.
One unit of donated blood can save up to 3 lives.

Human blood is irreplaceable, yet, according to the South African National Blood Service (SANBS), less than 1% of South Africans are active blood donors. SANBS aims to collect 3 000 blood units every day to ensure a necessary and sufficient blood supply in the health care system.  

Donated blood is given to: 

  • Trauma and accident victims
  • Surgery patients
  • Burn victims
  • People with blood diseases such as leukaemia and sickle-cell anaemia

All results must be negative before blood is released to blood banks. Positive blood units are removed, quarantined and incinerated. Here's a look at the steps and tests your unit of donated blood goes through before it is used to save the lives of patients in need:

blood donation

Image: iStock

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