Currently the Western Cape has an adequate 3.5 day blood supply, but this supply is unfortunately not the ideal of a five to seven day blood supply.
With 4.5% of blood being collected at tertiaries throughout the Western Cape, the current #Feesmustfall protest is a worrying factor for the WP Blood Transfusion Service (WPBTS). “Most of our tertiary clinics are scheduled to take place during October and November,” says Marlize van der Merwe, WPBTS Spokesperson. “If the #Feesmustfall protest should take place at the Western Cape tertiary institutions, at least seven of our biggest tertiary clinics will definitely be affected.”
The Service was negatively affected during the 2015 #Feesmustfall protest, with scheduled tertiary clinics being closed earlier than advertised and in most cases, being canceled on the day.
“The Service needs to collect 700 units of blood per day to fulfill in the demand of the Western Cape hospitals. If clinics are cancelled on the day, this means that there are a certain number of units not being collected as planned,” explains Van der Merwe. “This has a direct impact on the blood stock throughout the whole province.”
Appeal to the public
Besides the looming #Feesmustfall protest, it is also school holiday during the first week of October and the current weather predictions for the province is not at all favourable to the Service.
The Service therefore urges donors to donate regularly and potential donors to consider donating blood at the various permanent and mobile blood donation clinics throughout the province. In the event that the Service has to cancel its scheduled tertiary clinics, emergency clinics will be held in close proximity of the various campuses.
Blood donation takes 20 to 30 minutes of your time every 56 days. It requires you to be between the ages of 16 and 65, weigh over 50kg, be in good general health and lead a safe sexual lifestyle. It does not cause you any bodily harm, since only 475ml of blood is taken, which is replaced within 24 hours.
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.