SANBS faces blood shortage

Test tubes. Photo: Thato Mahlangu

There is a serious shortage of type O blood across the country, the SANBS has said.

Marketing manager Silungile Mlambo appealed to citizens to make donations urgently and become regular donors.

“The crisis will put more pressure on the national blood supply, especially with the long Easter weekend approaching,” said Mlambo.

“Many South Africans are expected to embark on long distance driving, which could lead to an increase in road accidents.”

Mlambo said the greatest proportion of blood was required in childbirth and for cancer patients.

She said although there were eight blood types, all of which were important for donation, the group O type could be given to patients of other blood groups too.

“Blood type O comes in handy during medical emergencies, when urgent blood transfusions are required and there is little time to determine a patient’s blood type.”

Mlambo urged blood donors to donate at least four times a year.

“It’s what saves that haemorrhaging mother’s life, so she can raise and love the baby she has just brought into the world.”

“It’s what helps that cancer patient endure and survive treatment.”

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