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: