Your blood saves lives.
Less than 1% of South Africans are active blood donors. A unit of blood only lasts 42 days after donation and, for this reason, it is important for blood donors to donate regularly. Donors can give blood as often as every eight weeks.
Every unit of blood can save up to three lives as blood is separated into red blood cells, plasma and platelets.
SANBS aims to collect 3000 units of blood per day to ensure a safe and sufficient blood supply in the health care system.
Generally you can donate if you are healthy and lead a low risk lifestyle.
“Healthy” means that you feel well and can perform normal activities. If you have a chronic condition, such as diabetes, “healthy” also means that you are being treated and the condition is under control.
Donating safe blood means you are committed to participating in a vital community service to improve the quality of life, for patients in need of blood transfusions.
The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) has various measures in place to protect the health and wellbeing of blood donors and patients.
These measures ensure that our blood supply is among the safest in the world.
- You will be required tocomplete a Self Exclusion Questionnaire (SEQ). The questions are meant to assess your health and lifestyle to ensure you are well enough to donate blood and that your blood may not be of any risk to a patient who may receive it.
- This is followed by a one-on-one interviewwith the nurse who goes through the questions to ensure that the questions are understood and that the donor understands the importance of being honest on the questionnaire.
- Your blood pressure and haemoglobin (iron) levelsare checked. (The checking of your iron level is done with a small prick to your finger.)
If you meet this criteria you may continue, if not you will be deferred
When you are comfortable on the chair
- We will need to confirm your name, address and date of birth
- We examine your arm and place a cuff on your arm to maintain a small amount of pressure during donation (this does not measure blood pressure).
- We then examine your arm to find a suitable vein and clean it with an antiseptic sponge.
- We will insert a needle in your arm which will collect your blood into a blood bag with your unique number.
- We only use new, sterile needles which are used once and incinerated thereafter.
- A scale weighs the blood and stops when you have donated 480ml. This usually takes between 5-10 minutes.
- In addition to the blood bag donated, 3 small viles of blood will also be collected. This is what goes through for testing with the unique number that refers back to the blood donated.
You should not feel any discomfort or pain. If you do, tell a member of staff.
The needle will be removed and a sterile dressing applied to your arm. The blood donation process takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.
You are requested to lay down for a few minutes once you have donated.
Remember these tips…
- Increase your fluid intake for four to six hours after donation.
- Avoid strenuous physical exercise or heavy lifting with the arm used for donating for two hours.
- Do not smoke for at least half an hour after donation.
Be part of the initiative and donate blood at our #Blooddrivechallenge.
Follow the link https://form.myjotform.com/72751777368572 and register online.
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