Blood stock 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 December is critical, it ensures that hospitals have sufficient safe blood to treat everyone.

“Many of our regular donors are away or very busy during the holiday season. At the same time, our blood donation clinics at corporate offices, schools and factories close for the December break. As a result, stocks can run low,” says WPBTS Corporate Public Relations Officer, Michelle Vermeulen.

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 – it is a small gift with a huge impact,” says Vermeulen.

Finding your nearest donation point is easy – download the free WP Blood app or SMS “Blood” to 33507 for a call back. “The donation process is absolutely safe and professional, and our staff are on hand to answer any questions. Only 475ml of blood is drawn, which your body replaces within 24 hours,” says Vermeulen.

Donors are required to be between the ages of 16 and 65, weigh over 50kg, be in good general health and lead a safe sexual lifestyle.

For more information, SMS “Blood” to 33507, call WPBTS on 021 507 6300, e-mail or visit Blood stock updates and interesting facts about donation can be found on their Facebook (WP Blood), Twitter (@WPBlood) and Instagram (wp_blood) accounts.

“We thank all blood donors for their support during 2018, our organisation’s 80th year, and wish South Africans a safe and pleasant festive season,” says Vermeulen.