The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) has revealed that they are reducing the amount of blood sent to hospitals during the Festive Season due to shortages.
Stock now below the recommended WHO amount
According to Dr Karin van den Berg, a SANBS medical director, the blood stocks are now below what the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends.
“We are in dire straits actually we have blood supplies of about 2,3 days which is really way below the recommended 5 days the WHO recommends a country should have to respond to any emergency.
“Unfortunately we have started cutbacks, meaning if a doctor orders blood for a nonemergency patient if the Dr wanted maybe 3 units we give 2 units otherwise we won’t have blood for emergencies. This impacts on the care for our patients,” said van den Berg.
The fourth wave had made it difficult for SANBS
Dr van den Berg added that the Covid-19 pandemic as a whole has made it extremely difficult for them to get people to donate blood. And now with the fourth wave, it has been even harder.
“We had a new business model that helped us get to our donors and get blood, but more and more people are working from home and we can’t visit big cooperates and others are on holiday,” she said.
The SANBS calls on all adults to come out and donate. All vaccinated or unvaccinated citizens can donate blood.