Western Cape Blood Service calls for urgent donations, O and B blood stocks critically low

Western Cape Blood Service calls for urgent blood donation. Picture: Supplied

Western Cape Blood Service calls for urgent blood donation. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 19, 2023


Cape Town - The Western Cape Blood Service (WCBS) is appealing to members of the public to donate blood as stocks are critically low.

The organisation said there was a critical need for donations as the winter storms were also placing severe pressure on existing supplies.

According to the blood service, there was a critical shortage in the O and B blood groups, with only a two-day supply left, and the A-positive blood stocks are also under severe pressure as only a three-day supply is left.

The WCBS said it was important to have a blood stock level of at least five days.

"The winter weather is not conducive to going out, and with the continuing storms in Cape Town, they are seeing the effects on their blood stocks," WCBS spokesperson Marike Carli said.

"Blood donors suffer from colds and flu during this time and can subsequently not donate blood up until the resolution of their symptoms,“ Carli said.

During June, WCBS celebrates National Blood Donor Month, and aims to raise awareness about the importance of voluntary blood donation and the critical importance of a safe, sustainable blood supply.

"Aside from accident and other trauma-related transfusions, patients also need transfusions to correct a low platelet count, patients suffering from immunodeficiency disorders, undergoing chemotherapy or awaiting a bone marrow transplant, during childbirth and even those undergoing heart surgeries.

"Blood is needed every day for patients in need," Carli said.

As part of initiative to raise awareness, WCBS will be joining the myrun fitness company that hosts free weekly fitness events for everyone across the Western Cape on Sunday.

"We are encouraging everyone to join as we celebrate the remarkable act of saving lives through blood donation.

"WCBS encourages everyone to dress in red or any hero attire to fit the theme, be a local hero and donate blood. On the day, capes will be distributed to all participants to symbolise that all blood donors are heroes,“ Carli said.

For more information or to find your closest blood donation clinic, please visit www.wcbs.org.za, or download the WCBS app. Participants can register for the myrun race by visiting www.myrun.org.za.