World Blood Donor Day: How donating blood makes a difference

How donating blood makes a difference

The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) states that "a unit of blood can save up to three lives". 

Doctor Taking Blood Sample From Patient's Arm in Hospital for Medical Testing
Doctor Taking Blood Sample From Patient's Arm in Hospital for Medical Testing/ iStock

June 14 is 'World Blood Donor Day'. 

The National Institutes of Health states that 'eight out of ten people need blood or blood products at some time in their lives' and 'one out of every ten patients in hospital requires a blood transfusion'. 

Donating blood saves lives and is one of the best gifts you can give to someone. Without blood donations, thousands of patients would die daily. 

Who needs blood donations?

According to the South African National Blood Service (SANBS), the following groups of people need blood: 

- Women haemorrhaging due to pregnancy complication and other gyneacological complications.

- Premature babies.

- Children with severe anaemia.

- Accident trauma patients.

- Surgical and cancer patients.

READ: World Blood Donor Day: How you can save a life!

Why is giving blood important? 

A unit of blood can save up to three lives, states SANBS

The blood is separated into red blood cells, plasma, and platelets.

The World Health Organization says: "A decision to donate your blood can save a life, or even several if your blood is separated into its components – red cells, platelets and plasma – which can be used individually for patients with specific conditions."

READ: Bloody awesome! Front-row seat for all at new SANBS Durban lab

Who can donate? 

Minimum Requirements to be a Blood Donor according to SANBS:

- You are between the ages of 16 and 75 years old, for first time donors.

- You weigh a minimum of 50 kgs (and platelets a minimum of 55 kgs)

- You are in good health.

- You lead a low risk lifestyle.

- You consider your blood safe for transfusion.

- You have had a balanced meal within four hours of donating blood.

- You have not donated blood in the last 56 days (and platelets in the last 14 days.)

- Your pulse is between 60-100 regular beats per minute.

- Your blood pressure is below 180 systolic (first number) and below 100 diastolic (second number) (180/100mmHg) and above 100 systolic (first number) and above 60 diastolic  (second number) (100/60mmHg).

- Your haemoglobin level is 12.g for females and 13.g for males/dL or above.

READ: SA’s blood stocks could run out in 48 hours - SANBS

So, this World Blood Donor Day, make a difference in someone's life by donating blood. You can find out where to donate blood in SA here

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Image courtesy of iStock/ @kasto80

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