June is commemorated nationally in South Africa as Blood Donor Month, with a global Blood Donor Day celebration on 14 June for the millions of people who voluntarily donate blood on a regular basis.
This is a time when the South African National Blood Services (SANBS) pays tribute to its voluntary blood donors who sacrifice their time in an effort to save the lives of people in dire need of blood or blood products.
The global theme for this year’s World Blood Donor Day is ‘Every blood donor is a hero’ and focuses on the idea that everyone can become a hero by simply donating blood.
While recognising the silent and unsung heroes who save lives every day through their donations, the theme also strongly encourages more people to voluntarily donate blood more regularly.
Why should you donate blood?
Donating blood is a simple procedure and a life-saving act.
Eight out of ten people need blood or blood products at some time in their lives.
One out of every ten patients in hospital requires blood transfusion. Blood is in constant demand for the treatment of patients involved in accidents, patients with cancer, leukemia or with a bleeding disorder such as haemophilia, among others. Many surgical operations would not be possible without the availability of blood.
What do you need to become a blood donor?
You must weigh at least 50 kg.
You must be between the ages of 16 and 65.
You should live a healthy lifestyle.
You need to lead a sexually safe lifestyle.
Your blood must be considered safe and healthy for donating.
Donating blood is a safe and simple procedure that takes about 30 minutes.
All needles are new and sterile, and are used only once and incinerated after use.
Where can you donate blood?
SANBS centres are located all over the country and all of their procedures and screenings are safe.
In addition, Western Province Blood Transfusion Services centres are also widely available.
For further information and to donate, you can go to your nearest WP Blood Transfusion Services or SANBS transfusion centre.
Source: Knysna-Plett Herald