World Blood Donor Day – Give Blood. Give Now. Give Often.
Your blood can save lives. We’ve all heard the statement but somehow just brush it off. Sure, we donate our bit of blood or a few run into the hills whenever the SANBS arrives. Little do we realise what a big difference one donation can actually make.
World Blood Donor Day is observed in June every year and 2017’s theme focuses on blood donation in emergencies. Allow us to shed some light on the subject of blood donation.
Where South Africa currently stands with regards to blood donation
When you visit SANBS’s website, you’ll notice a big banner stating their current blood stock level. At the moment it stands at 3.2 days. That amount is set to change and, sadly, decrease if the donation situation does not change.
The SANBS calls to all South Africans to become regular donors. If every person only donates four times a year, the blood supply will see a considerable increase.
First-time blood donor? Here’s what to expect
Your blood pressure level, Iron and pulse rate will be checked.
You’ll be asked to complete a questionnaire concerning your personal details, health, sexual and social conduct.
A staff member will furthermore conduct a one-on-one interview with you.
The entire donation procedure takes about 30 minutes.
In order to donate, you need to meet the following minimum requirements
- You need to weigh at least 50kg
- You must be between 16 and 65 years of age
- Lead a sexually safe lifestyle
- Your blood must be safe for transfusion
Before donating, make sure to eat a healthy balanced meal at least 4 hours prior to donation and make sure to check with a staff member to see whether you are indeed eligible to donate.
Eat something and increase your fluid consumption for four to six hours after donating blood.
Do not smoke until at least 30 minutes after donation.
Avoid engaging in any strenuous physical activities.
If you feel unwell after having donated, please contact your GP or a medical professional.
Interesting facts about blood
Medical professionals can save up to 3 lives with 1 pint of blood.
New born babies have approximately one cup of blood in their bodies.
You have approximately 60 000 miles of blood vessels in your body.
The human heart will pump almost 1.5 million barrels of blood during an average lifetime.
Have you ever seen strange, moving white dots in the sky or in your vision? These are in fact your white blood cells
Now you know. By becoming a blood donor you can save up to 3 lives at no cost. They only need your time and willingness to help. If you’d like more information about the blood donation process or if you’d like to find out where you can donate, visit SANBS’s site. Change starts with a choice.