Don’t let COVID-19 run our blood banks dry

The demand for blood products has sadly remained constant throughout the current turmoil. People continue to require blood products in our hospitals and clinics, often in the form of life-saving transfusions. Unfortunately, COVID-19 resulted in a setback in the Western Cape Blood Service’s supply of donations, and though the non-profit has assured the city that the current blood supply is adequate we encourage you to help increase stocks.

The limitation of public movement during the national lockdown is the probable cause of the recent dip in donations. Though we are grateful for your compliance in limiting your journeys and activities, donating blood is entirely within the regulations. We would therefore like to inspire new and regular donors of all blood groups to donate. Anyone who is between the ages of 16 and 75, who weighs more than 50kg, leads a safe sexual lifestyle and is healthy on the day of donation can perform this civic duty.

Did you know that a single donation of blood has the potential to save three lives? This is because one donation contains plasma, red blood cells and platelets, all of which can be used for different people. We understand that many people are nervous about the process, but can promise that even people who are scared of needles sail through it! Blood transfusions are usually called for in emergency situations, so it’s vital that the blood supply remains adequate, as you never know when you, or someone you love, may need it.

It has been determined that COVID-19 cannot be transmitted through blood, so donations and transfusions remain safe regardless of the pandemic level. We can assure blood donors that donating blood is safe, as the wellbeing of blood donors and employees is the WCBS’s priority. COVID-19 specific measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

All WCBS staff have been issued with alcohol-based hand sanitisers and communal hand sanitisers are available throughout all clinics. All surfaces and equipment are also regularly sanitised. Staff are equipped with personal protective equipment, including face masks and face visors. All donors are pre-screened to assess their risk of having COVID-19 before entering the clinic, and are required to wear a mask. There are also strict social distancing measures in place.

To help save lives, please visit www.wcbs.org.za or call 021 507 6300 to find a donation clinic near you. The closest one to our GP/OKCID area is the Western Cape Blood Service blood donor centre at 9 Long Street, Cape Town.

 

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