R200 discount for liking us on FB
As thousands of motorists make their way back home from the coast, they have been urged to drive safely to avoid accidents, because the blood bank’s levels are critically low – at just under two days’ supply.
“We know that accidents are high at this time of year, there may be more people injured, and with the blood bank already under strain, if there had to be a major accident we may not have enough blood,” said Vanessa Raju, spokeswoman for the SA National Blood Service (SANBS).
Due to the holidays, said Raju, their blood collection rates have been low.
“People are on holiday and now some will be busy getting their children ready for the new school year, so blood donation is not high on the list of things to do, resulting in low levels,” said Raju, adding that ideally the blood stock needs to sit at five days’ supply.
She said that the bank was already under strain, and the collection rates do not look promising for this weekend, which could cause the levels to dip to around one day’s supply by Monday.
This past December, the levels have teetered around the two to three days’ stock, which only happened after public appeals were made, but the levels would drop once the stocks were used up.
She said that while there was a demand for type O positive blood, as this was a universal blood type, donors of all blood groups were urged to come forward and donate.
“Often when patients do not know their blood type, doctors use type O, which is why this type is always in demand,” said Raju.
With blood stocks so low, said Raju, surgeries such as hip operations would have to wait until blood stock levels rise.
“When it comes to a situation where the levels are low, blood is only given in absolute core emergencies like accident victims,” said Raju.
Zinhle Mngomezulu, spokeswoman for the provincial traffic department, said drivers needed to behave, as traffic volumes were high.
“Yesterday about 2 500 cars per hour passed through the Mariannhill and Mooi River toll plazas. There haven’t been many drunk drivers, and we want drivers to drive safely,” said Mngomezulu.
In one major accident yesterday, a family of five were injured when their vehicle and a truck collided on the N3 Johannesburg bound near Curry’s Post.
“ER24 paramedics found the truck had overturned causing the road to be closed. The car was found down the embankment.
“The five occupants, two adults and three children, were found inside the vehicle,” said spokesman Derrick Banks.
The father and one child needed advanced life support intervention.
All five patients were transported to Northdale Hospital for further medical care.
Independent on Saturday