By Marike Gevers
As you might be aware we have been struggling to keep our blood stocks on the required 5-days for quite a significant time. In mid-May, we appealed to the Western Cape to donate blood as we were fighting to avoid Day Zero.
With the help of our blood donors, partners and the media we were able to get the word out there and we are happy to say that for now we are out of the woods. Blood stocks fluctuate daily and ideally, we would like enough blood for 5 days in each of the 8 blood groups. This is to ensure a sufficient blood supply for all patients and that we are covered when an increase in the demand for blood arise. In order to stay at a 5 day, supply we will need to maintain collecting 700 units of blood daily.
The stock shortage was brought on by multiple factors. For a period of time we were not collecting the required 700 units of blood daily, this was due to multiple public holidays in April and May, the fast during Ramadan where our Muslim donors are not able to donate blood, and the increase in colds and flu in donors. There were also remaining effects from COVID-19 where our blood collection opportunities remained curtailed.
We would like to thank all our blood donors who donated blood. Thank you to all the new blood donors who started their journey with us. We also received support from multiple groups who motivated their congregations, staff members and family alike to donate blood. Premier Alan Winde, Cabinet Ministers and Western Cape Government staff also got onboard and supported us through this difficult time. From the bottom of our hearts thank you so much for your support, thank you for helping us avoid Day Zero.