Biker blood drive collects 149 units
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Cape Town - The Vikings motorcycle club collected 149 units of blood at the eighth annual Winter Blood Drive held at the Turfhall Softball Club in celebration of World Blood Donor Month.
More than 500 bikers and members of the public turned out for the event at the weekend. Vikings president Ricardo Bowers said it was the first time this club had organised the event, which had been held every year since 2008.
“Our initial target was to collect 200 units, but many people were either fasting for Ramadaan or too ill to attend,” he said. “But despite this, the event was a huge success.”
The 2015 drive was convened by the Strawdogs motorcycle club, but this year the Vikings came on board.
“Bikers are usually generous in assisting with such initiatives,” Bowers said, “because so many bikers get injured or die on the road.”
The aim of the drive was not only to raise awareness among the biker fraternity, he said, but also the general public.
“Fear of needles is what prevents many people from donating blood. But people need to remember it can be your family member or you whose life depends on blood donations.”
Emergency Medical Services was one of the roleplayers that facilitated the drive. EMS paramedic and trainer Courtney Abrahams has been involved with the drive since 2008.
“One unit of blood can save up to three lives,” he pointed out. “You need to multiply the 149 units donated here by three to understand the impact, especially blood blood donations driop at this time of year because people are ill or fasting.”
The province’s hospitals alone use 700 units daily, which is why such drives are so important, Abrahams said.
“There can never be enough blood,” he added. “There was one incident where a biker lost so much blood, he used the hospital’s whole supply,” said Abrahams.
The veteran paramedic said that, in his 21-year experience, he had looked into the eyes of countless people who died because there was not enough blood to save them.
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