Donating blood, like becoming an organ donor, is one of the most selfless, yet completely simple things to do in life. And it doesn’t cost you a thing.
Bloodstock levels in the Western Cape decline during the festive season – just as the number of road accidents spike. For the Western Province Blood Transfusion Service (WPBTS), maintaining a five-day blood stock level through this period is critical, as it ensures that hospitals have sufficient safe blood to treat everyone.
Cynics might ask why they need to give their blood, just so that someone involved in a drunken late-night crash might live. Well, that someone in that crash might be your loved one, fighting for his or her life after someone else, unthinkingly, sped through a red light at an intersection.
Maintaining a five-day bloodstock is difficult at the best of times.
Bloodstock at the WPBTS usually hovers around a two-day supply, year-round, which just shows how much work needs to be done, to encourage and educate new donors.
WPBTS Corporate Public Relations Officer, Michelle Vermeulen, says many of their regular donors are away or very busy during the holiday season. At the same time, their external blood donation clinics at corporate offices, schools and factories close for the December break.
To mitigate the impact of the shortage, the WPBTS is appealing to all residents, regular donors and holidaymakers to set aside just 30 minutes of their day to visit a clinic. Each donation could save up to three lives.
Here at Smile 90.4FM we definitely ended the year on a high note as we hosted the WPBTS at our new offices for our final blood drive of 2018.
More than 70 Smile 90.4FM listeners and our own staff members came out to give their pint of blood. Nearly half of the donors had never donated before, which is really a big deal. It also means, that the blood donated at our offices on the day, a whopping 33,25 litres, potentially already saved about 210 lives.
Thank you to all those who came through to give some of your life-giving blood.
But let’s not stop there. It shouldn’t just be a priority some of the time when it’s convenient for you. Make it your mission to seek out a blood donation clinic every eight weeks.
It’s never been easier. You can download the WP Blood app to find your nearest donation point. You can also follow them on Facebook (WP Blood) on Twitter (@WPBlood) and Instagram (wp_blood).
For those who are social media challenged, you can also contact their offices around the province, so even if you’re on holiday, please make some time to donate.
It’s 30 minutes of your time, and totally worth it:
The Cape Peninsula region includes Cape Town’s northern and southern suburbs, as far as Durbanville in the north and Simon’s Town in the south. Phone 021 507 6364.
The Paarl branch hosts regular clinics in the Boland area, the Helderberg basin, and as far as Lambert’s Bay on the West Coast. Phone 021 871 1030.
The Worcester branch includes the Breede River Valley, Beaufort-West, Swellendam, Ceres, Tulbagh and Hermanus. Phone 023 342 2450.
The George branch services the Southern Cape region encompassing Plettenberg Bay on the coast, Oudtshoorn and Ladysmith in the Karoo, and Heidelberg, Stilbaai and Riversdale. Phone 044 874 2074.