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SANBS: Blood shortage

Jan 03, 2022

By Hajira Khota

The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) is appealing to the public to give blood and help improve the blood supply as stock levels are critically low

According to SANBS, the organisation’s stock of group O blood was less than three days.

Due to the increased number of car accidents during the holiday season, blood is in higher demand than at any other time of the year.

The SANBS announced that its Group O blood reserves had plummeted, and it was asking to South Africans to give a unit of blood to help people in need. This includes car accident victims.

Meanwhile, the SANBS noted that the spread of Covid-19 has interrupted its activities and operations, as it does for most organisations.

This is due to a decrease in the number of mobile blood drives at various locations such as office parks, universities, and schools, according to Dr. Karin van den Berg, SANBS medical director who spoke to Radio Islam International.

Low blood stocks, she continued, impact persons who lose blood in accidents, chronically unwell patients, new moms, and those who are scheduled for surgery.

While the challenge for donors was real, other factors like as disinformation, particularly on social media, contributed to poor donor turnout, according to the SANBS.

One of the most popular misconceptions is that unvaccinated people cannot donate blood. According to Van den Berg, this is not true, and anyone can donate blood.

“As long as you’re in good health and meet all of the requirements.” The SANBS treats all donors equally and recognizes that whether or not to be immunized is a personal decision. “If they don’t have any Covid-19 symptoms and haven’t been in contact with somebody who has tested positive for Covid-19, unvaccinated donors are still accepted”.

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