In two days the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) will run out of stock nationally - unless South Africans donate. Photo: Matthew Jordaan

IN two days the SA National Blood Service (SANBS) will run out of stock nationally, unless South Africans donate.

According to the SANBS, 3 000 units need to be collected per day to meet its target.

However, since the start of winter the organisation has been unable to meet its target because of school and university holidays, and because of the added impact of flu and cold weather.

Vanessa Raju, communications manager at the SANBS, said the shortage placed the lives of those dependent on transfusions at risk.

This may result in us requesting all hospitals and medical personnel to hold back on planned surgeries,”

Raju said.

She said the current blood stock level needed to return to a five-day level, and to do so the SANBS would need to collect about 5 000 units each day for the next seven days.

Blood needed for cancer patients, patients who have gynaecological complications, and accident victims, could not afford to be delayed because these were emergency cases.

Raju said Group O blood was most affected, with only 1.5 days in stock.

Group O is most in demand because it can be given to patients of other blood groups in emergencies.

“Your one unit of blood can save up to three lives.

“This is also a plea to all South Africans who meet the minimum requirements to also commit to donating blood.”

Weekend Argus