SOUTH AFRICA – South African National Blood Service (SANBS) has urgently called on South Africans to give blood to help meet a heightened demand as the state of the nation’s blood stocks is significantly low.

Blood stocks have lingered below three days over a prolonged period. To avoid reaching critically low levels, SANBS needs South Africans – active donors, lapsed donors and potential donors – to bolster the national blood stocks. SANBS runs blood drives across the country throughout the week.

“We are experiencing a high demand for blood from hospitals across the country. The nation’s blood stocks are strained, necessitating our appeal for increased donations in aid of those who may need transfusions during this period,” said Thandi Mosupye, SANBS Senior Manager: Marketing, Communication and Brand.

The SANBS needs to maintain a blood stock level of five days for each blood group to ensure sustained blood availability for patients in need. Five days is adequate stock, 3.5 days is significantly low stock and three days is critical stock.

“We commend the donors who remain steadfast in their commitment to saving lives. Right now, we need all the help we can get – from current and potential donors,” Mosupye said.

“Blood group O and B individuals can make the biggest, immediate difference to the situation we face right now. Moreover, we ask South Africans to become regular donors. By donating blood we can easily maintain safe stock levels throughout the year.”

SANBS had called for donors to help boost declining blood stocks in last year October.

Since inception, SANBS has provided an essential service within South Africa and supported other blood services providers on the African continent.

Blood donations enable life-saving medical treatment for children with life threatening anaemia, trauma victims, women with pregnancy related complications, organ transplants, bone marrow transplants, complicated surgical procedures and cancer treatments.

Formed in 2001 after the merger of seven Regional Blood Services, the blood service provider collects blood to ensure a safe and sufficient supply for the country’s health care system, with the exception of the Western Cape province which has its own Blood Service.

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