Updated 18 June 2019

SEE: What happens to your donated blood?

We take a look at the 8 stops your blood donation makes before it can save lives.

Human blood is irreplaceable, yet, according to the South African National Blood Service (SANBS), less than 1% of South Africans are active blood donors. SANBS aims to collect 3 000 blood units every day to ensure a necessary and sufficient blood supply in the health care system.  

Donated blood is given to: 

  • Trauma and accident victims
  • Surgery patients
  • Burn victims
  • People with blood diseases such as leukaemia and sickle-cell anaemia

All results must be negative before blood is released to blood banks. Positive blood units are removed, quarantined and incinerated. Here's a look at the steps and tests your unit of donated blood goes through before it is used to save the lives of patients in need:

blood donation

Image: iStock