118 pints of blood collected from Amanzimtoti donors

An impromptu blood drive organised by concerned Amanzimtoti residents at Kuswag Skool on Saturday, 15 September yielded more than double the anticipated pints.

“A number of cases we heard about recently highlighted a blood shortage which has become such a problem, so we decided to organise a blood drive,” said Bev Roode, who teamed up with Jamie-Lee and Amy Pieterse. The shortage of rare blood types such as AB-negative (0.6 percent) and B-negative (1.5 percent) is more alarming.

“We only contacted the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) on Thursday afternoon, so their staff who came to help us were all off-duty. Although it was quickly thrown together, it was highly successful. We planned to be there from 8am to 2pm but we only left at 6.30pm.”

The women hoped to fill 35 to 50 bags (pints) but were elated when SANBS had to quickly arrange more bags and coolerboxes to accommodate the 118 bags Toti donors filled. From just one bag, two to three units of blood can be used to save a life.

READ ALSO: Needle-shy donor gifts 300th pint of blood

“Thanks to James and Yolande Kleynhans of Darlene’s Pub, who kindly donated pizzas and cooldrinks for the SANBS staff and people waiting to donate, and all the donors.

“We are arranging another drive, possibly on 17 November. The date and venue will be confirmed in the SUN closer to the time. We will arrange to have more beds to accommodate more people, as a lot left when they couldn’t wait any longer.”

Minimum requirements to be a blood donor:

* You are between the ages of 16 and 65 years old, for first time donors.

* You weigh a minimum of 50kg (and platelets a minimum of 55kg).

* You are in good health.

* You lead a low risk lifestyle.

* You consider your blood safe for transfusion.

* You have had a balanced meal within four hours of donating blood.

* You have not donated blood in the last 56 days (and platelets in the last 14 days.)

* Your pulse is between 50 to 100 regular beats per minute.

* Your blood pressure is below 180 systolic (first number) and below 100 diastolic (second number) (180/100mmHg) and above 100 systolic (first number) and above 60 diastolic (second number) (100/60mmHg).

* Your haemoglobin level is 12.5g/dL or above.

SANBS’ screening test ensures that your blood pressure and haemoglobin levels are within a safe range for you to donate.

Donor centres close to Amanzimtoti:

Umlazi Donor Centre, 50 Griffiths Mxenge Highway, shop 104A, Umlazi Megacity, 031 912-1259, email: customerservice@sanbs.org.za.

Chatsworth Donor Centre, 17 Joyhurst Street, Chatsworth, 031-401-5509, email: customerservice@sanbs.org.za.

South Durban Donor Centre, 27 Titren Road, Southway Mall, Durban, 031-459-0986, email: customerservice@sanbs.org.za.

Musgrave Donor Centre, 29 Musgrave Road, Berea, 031-201-3668, email: customerservice@sanbs.org.za.

Pinecrest Donor Centre, 17 Kings Road, Pinetown, 031-701-0699, email: customerservice@sanbs.org.za.

Shelly Donor Centre, Sandown Road, 039-315-6957, email: customerservice@sanbs.org.za.

Latest from South Coast Sun