The Western Cape’s group B blood supply is under severe pressure and has reached a level of a mere 1 to 2 days.
The decline in blood stocks for this particular group can be attributed to higher usage and a decrease in collection of blood group B. WPBTS is worried that it will be in crisis by the following week if over and above the desired stocks are not collected.
“We are appealing to the public to do something remarkable and support the cause of blood donation,” says Marlize van der Merwe, Spokesperson for the WP Blood Transfusion Service (WPBTS). She says, “it doesn’t cost a cent and only takes 20 – 30 minutes of your time. With a single donation you will make an impact on the lives of at least three patients in dire need of blood.”
The basic donor criteria asks one to be at least 16 years of age, weigh more than 50 kg, be in good general health and live a safe lifestyle. It is also important that a donor eats a substantial meal three to four hours before donating blood and increase fluid intake on the day.
While donors from all blood groups and communities are important, there is a particular need for donors with blood types O and B to donate regularly as stocks of these are more vulnerable to shortfalls. There is also a need for more black African people to become blood donors to reflect the ethnic diversity of patients.
For more information, SMS “Blood” to 33507 and WPBTS will call you back with information on where to donate. Donors can also call (021) 507 6300, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.wpblood.org.za. Like us on Facebook (WP Blood) or follow us on Twitter (@WPBlood) for interesting facts and blood stock updates.