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Give and receive – blood

The Namibian Blood Transfusion Services (NamBTS) is urging all existing and previous donors to donate blood to ensure that the potential blood demand during the festive season is met. According to Zita Tobin, NamBTS PR and Donor Relations supe

rvisor, only 0.8% of the country’s population donates blood and the need for blood supply is more urgent during the festive period, as there tends to be a decrease in the amount of donors during this season. The potential for accidents is also increased, owing to the season’s festivities. Last year, the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund recorded close to 6000 road traffic injuries in total, with a higher number of injuries recorded during the festive season. “At least 30,000 units of blood are needed annually to cater for the general blood demand,” said Dr Von Finckenstein, medical director at NamBTS. According to Dr Von Finckenstein, when a patient is in need of blood, they cannot wait and must receive blood immediately. Dr Von Finckenstein said that it depends on what the patient has been diagnosed with and the severity of the respective illness or trauma of the patient, but a patient may need between 2 and 20 units of blood, if not more. “Blood has no substitute; therefore, it is important that there is enough blood available in the case of an emergency. 100 units of donated blood daily can potentially treat 300 patients,” said Dr Von Finckenstein. The NamBTS has currently collected about 3,460 units of blood. However, 1740 more units of blood will need to be donated before the end of 2014.

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