Blood donation

You don’t have to be scared to donate blood

  • Every unit of blood can be used to help three people once it’s separated into red blood cells, plasma and platelets. This can be used to help people undergoing surgery, people who has cancer or severe anaemia, accident victims or women who has complications when giving birth. 
  • Donating blood is a simple process administered by competent people and no one can force you to do it.
  • The discomfort like the prick of the needle, possible bruising at the injection site, light headedness and possible nausea and vomiting is not permanent. 
  • Donating blood is a safe and simple procedure. It will take about 30 minutes and all needles are new, sterile, used only once and destroyed after use.

Can schools have blood drives and can teenagers donate blood?
Yes. Schools can get their staff and parents to take part in a blood drive and high school learners can donate if they adhere to the following criteria:

  • You have to be between the ages of 16 and 65.
  • Weigh more than 50kg.
  • Lead a sexually safe lifestyle.
  • Complete a questionnaire containing personal information relevant to your health, social behaviour and lifestyle.
  • Enter into an interview with the administrator to discuss the information on the questionnaire. Click here for the questionnaire.
  • Do a finger prick test to check your blood iron level (haemoglobin).
  • Do a blood pressure and pulse test.

The administrator will declare you fit to donate blood or defer you to ensure no harm is done either way e.g. you will not be allowed to donate blood if your health is already compromised in any way because you need your own blood to fight your own ill condition. A qualifying person will be allowed to donate one unit of blood (480ml) at a time, every 56 days.

The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) has to collect sufficient blood to ensure quality blood is always available for emergencies and people in need.  Visit their website to learn more.

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