The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) is appealing to the public to donate blood and boost blood supply as blood levels are critically low.
The blood service said it needs to maintain a blood stock level of 5 days for each blood group to ensure sustained blood availability for patients in need.
The SANBS said it needs blood group B+ and AB- and O+ donors to donate blood.
According to the SANBS website, the current stock levels for B+ is at about 2.9 days while O+ is at 2.4 days.
The SANBS said less than 1% of South Africans are active blood donors.
“A unit of blood only lasts 42 days after donation and, for this reason, it is important for blood donors to donate regularly. Donors can give blood as often as every eight weeks.”
The SANBS said every unit of blood can save a minimum of three lives as blood is separated into red blood cells, plasma and platelets.