June is Nationwide Blood Donor Month in South Africa, and with lower than 1% of the inhabitants being energetic blood donors, it’s vital that we’re reminded simply how far one donation can actually go.
Khensani Mahlangu, Communications Specialist on the South African Nationwide Blood Service (SANBS), tells us that the winter time could be a little bit of a dry season for blood donations.
“Usually, throughout the college vacation season and in winter months we are likely to wrestle to gather as a lot blood as we often would at another time of the 12 months,” she says.
READ MORE: 5 Questions You Ought to All the time Ask About Your Blood Take a look at Outcomes
As we settle into the winter season and COVID-19 instances proceed to develop exponentially, we must always take into consideration a number of the optimistic issues we will do on this ‘darkish’ time – and donating blood is a type of issues. Luckily, blood donation is an important service, and the SANBS donation centres have remained open all through the lockdown interval.
“Donating blood is extra than simply sitting on a chair for a few minutes and strolling out with a cookie and a few juice – it’s actually about altering another person’s life,” Mahlangu says.
Listed below are 5 causes it’s best to contemplate donating blood at the moment:
1/ Your blood goes additional than you suppose
Mahlangu explains that each donated unit of blood is separated into three components: crimson blood cells, plasma and platelets. Whenever you donate blood, all three components can be utilized for 3 totally different individuals.
2/ Positively affect another person’s high quality of life
There are individuals who stay with persistent circumstances that require them to obtain blood transfusions weekly/bi-weekly simply to allow them to proceed to guide regular, wholesome lives. The supply of that blood means all the pieces to them.
“Somebody with anaemia, for instance, would possibly want common transfusions of crimson blood cells to do issues like go to work, go to highschool, and even to go grocery buying – all of the issues we frequently take with no consideration. Having the ability to obtain blood dramatically improves their high quality of life.”
three/ Truly save somebody’s life
Not solely is your blood used for individuals who want frequent blood transfusions, however it’s additionally used to save lots of the lives of people that have skilled a traumatic incident.
“This may be something from a automobile accident to a lady hemorrhaging throughout childbirth,” Mahlangu says.
four/ You don’t need to donate precise blood
You don’t truly need to donate all your blood when visiting a donation centre. “We additionally settle for donations of simply plasma or platelets,” Mahlangu says.
How precisely does this work? Effectively, they’ll join you to a machine the place your blood will undergo a course of that separates your crimson blood cells out of your plasma. From there, they return your crimson blood cells to your physique.
“Individuals who solely donate plasma are capable of come in additional incessantly than individuals who donate complete blood,” she explains.
5/ Contribute to COVID-19 therapy analysis (in case you’ve beforehand been recognized)
The SANBS is presently busy with a medical trial exploring ways in which blood can be utilized for the therapy of COVID-19. On this trial, they’ll mainly be whether or not convalescent plasma (from those who have recovered from COVID-19) might probably be efficient in treating COVID-19.
To qualify, you must have absolutely recovered from the virus and be freed from signs for a minimum of 28 days, amongst different standards. The method is just about the identical because the one defined within the level above (four).
6/ Lastly, it’s utterly secure
Lots of people is likely to be cautious of visiting a donation centre due to COVID-19, however Mahlangu says they’ve adhered to each precaution measure… after which some.
She tells us that each one the employees are screened every day and each donor is screened completely earlier than they enter the centre (a part of the screening additionally entails a questionnaire). The centres are wiped down earlier than and after use every day and everybody’s temperature is taken, amongst different screening measures.
“You’ll be able to relaxation assured that you can be protected.”
READ MORE ON: Coronavirus COVID-19 Well being Well being Recommendation