Western Cape hospitals and clinics require approximately 800 units of blood each day. One person can donate 475ml (1 unit) of blood every 2 months. Your one donation can save the lives of 3 people. Donated blood is separated into red blood cells, plasma and platelets.
Your red blood cells can be used for patients who needed surgery or suffered complications during childbirth. Your plasma will be used to replace clotting factors in a trauma patient and your platelets can be used for a cancer patient.
Blood can’t be artificially manufactured and blood donation services such as the Western Cape Blood Service (WCBS) relies completely on voluntary blood donors and encourages all eligible donors to donate.
There’s an urgent need for more blood donors. Unfortunately less than 1.2% of the Western Cape’s population donates blood.
The process might seem scary, but it’s simple, quick and painless. Blood donation doesn’t take more than 30 minutes, and after the process you can continue your day as normal.
According to the WCBS there are many good reasons to donate blood which include:
1. Blood saves lives
Every unit of blood donated can be separated into its basic parts and used to help improve and save the lives of up to 3 recipients.
2. There’s no substitute
There’s no known substitute for blood and it can’t be replicated due to its complexity.
3. Blood is in short supply
While 75% of our population are potential recipients, less than 1.2% is donors, and only approximately 16 000 donors give blood more than 4 times a year.
4. It’s a good cause
Giving doesn’t get much better than this.
5. You could be next
It’s not a pleasant thing to consider, but the fact is that you, a close friend, or a family member could well be the next car accident victim or surgery candidate requiring a transfusion.
6. The process is safe and quick
Sterile, disposable equipment is always used, so there’s no risk of infection. The entire process takes just 30 minutes, after which you can resume your daily activities. Finally, you won’t even miss the one unit (475 ml) of blood donated, because it’s quickly reproduced and replaced by your body.
You can donate blood if you:
- are between 16 and 65 years old,
- weigh at least 50kg,
- medically healthy,
- lead a safe lifestyle, and
- love helping others.
Source: Western Cape Government