Blood bank faces ‘critical shortage’, needs donors

Blood stocks in the province are critically low, according to the Western Cape Blood Service.File Picture: ANA Photographers

The Western Cape Blood Service (WCBS) is appealing to all donors to donate blood as blood stocks are “critically low”.

“We always aim to have a blood stock level of five days. Currently, there is a critical shortage in the O-negative blood group, with only a two-day supply left. The A-positive blood stock is also declining as we only have a three-day supply left”, said WCBS spokeswoman Marike Gevers.

The need for blood and blood products increased annually, and each day, the blood service needed to collect 700 units of blood, said Ms Gevers.

“Ideally, we want 1-2% of the Western Cape’s population to become active blood donors. An active blood donor is classified as someone who donates blood once a year, even though you can donate six times a year. At the moment, only 0.92% of the population are active blood donors, yet 75% of the population will still require blood or blood products in their lifetime.”

If you are between the ages of 16 and 75, weigh 50kg or more, are in good general health, and lead a safe sexual lifestyle, you should be able to donate. Blood donation takes 30 minutes and you can donate blood every 56 days.

Ms Gevers also encouraged donors who had not donated blood in a while to find their closest blood donation clinic.

For more information, call WCBS at 021 507 6300, email or visit Download the WCBS app, which is available on all iOS and Android devices. It will show you the nearest clinic, the current blood stock levels in real-time, and your blood type if you’re a blood donor.