Donating blood is an easy way to make a difference to those that are in need! Despite this, less than 1% of South African’s are active blood donors.
Why is it important to donate blood?
Donating a unit of blood is giving someone a gift – the gift of life. Although science and medical management are advancing, there is no replacement for blood that is needed for transfusions. Many different people in hospital require blood transfusions in order to survive, including people undergoing surgery, those with cancer or leukaemia, children with severe anaemia, trauma and accident victims, and women who experience haemorrhages as a complication during childbirth. Thousands of these people would die daily if there were to be insufficient blood in stock.
What are the benefits of donating blood?
There’s no end to the benefits of donating blood to those that need it! But it turns out that there are health benefits for the donors, too! One such benefit includes improving your emotional well-being by being part of something bigger. It also gives you a sense of belonging and importance. Another benefit is that you receive a mini-physical by a qualified health practitioner before giving blood. This is done free of charge, and can give you an insight to your own health. People with high iron levels can also use donating blood to their advantage, as the donation will help lower their iron stores.
Is it safe to donate blood?
As a donor you will be required to complete a Donor questionnaire, regarding your health and lifestyle, in order to ensure that donating blood is safe for you, and that your blood is safe for someone to receive. Physical tests, such as a finger prick test and a blood pressure test will be done in order to ensure you are fit to donate blood. Once these tests are completed and you are seen as a suitable blood donor, a qualified nurse will use a sterile, single-use needle to take blood. All Covid-19 safety precautions will be taken during the process. You will be monitored throughout, and provided with sugar drinks and snacks in order to assist with your recovery.
What are the minimum requirements to be a blood donor?
To be a blood donor you must be between the ages of 16 and 75 years old, weigh a minimum of 50kgs, have a low risk lifestyle, have a pulse rate between 50 and 100, have blood pressure below 180/100 mmHg and above 100/60mmHg, and have not donated blood in the last 56 days.
Where can I donate blood?
There are many SANBS blood donation centres open to the public. Centres close to our practices include the Northgate Donor Centre, The Colony Donor Centre and Craighall Donor Centre. To find the one closest to you, visit their website: https://sanbs.org.za/.
Every unit of blood donated counts! Save a life today, and donate!