Donating blood is the easiest way to make a real difference 14 June – World Blood Donor Day

It’s often difficult to fathom the impact that your blood donation makes in the world, after all, you aren’t there to see the end result. You don’t see the new mom holding her baby after recovering from haemorrhaging on the operating table. You don’t see the grateful faces of an accident victim’s parents when they are told their child will live. You don’t see a cancer patient getting the chance to fight another day after a transfusion. You don’t see them, but these scenarios play out every day in hospitals around South Africa.

One unit of blood can save 3 lives. It is without question the easiest way to make a difference in the world. You may not have money to donate, you may not have time, but if you are healthy enough to give blood, it is a phenomenal act of generosity.

Recognising the importance of this service, Demographica took on the South African National Blood Services (SANBS) as a client in 2019. Since then, the team worked closely with the organisation to conceptualise and execute campaigns that create awareness about the importance of blood donation in the corporate space, while helping to negate the fears and uncertainty around it. And yes, we’re talking about needles. We are about to rollout a new campaign for the SANBS that encourages neighbourhoods to be a ‘Good Hood’ and host their own neighbourhood blood drive. Injecting a bit of friendly competition into the campaign (see what we did there?), we are also encouraging neighbourhoods to nominate one another in order to show off their community spirit. The campaign includes website, AV, infographics, posters, street pole ads, social posts, and more.

Today is World Blood Donor Day.

To honour this, here are a few facts about blood and blood donation:

  • The SANBS needs to collect 3 000 units of blood per day to ensure a safe and sufficient blood supply
  • There are 8 basic blood groups – A, B, AB, or O, each of which is classified as either positive or negative – blood group O is the most common
  • O negative blood has the lowest risk of causing serious reactions for most people who receive it. It is called the universal blood donor type
  • At the processing lab, your blood is separated into plasma, red blood cells, and platelets. This is why your one unit can save 3 lives
  • The shelf life of blood is limited, which is why it is important to have regular blood donors
  • You can donate blood every 8 weeks
  • The whole process of giving blood takes on average of 45 mins to an hour. One lunchbreak to save 3 lives

Giving blood is a big deal. We admit that the first prick of the needle is less than fun, but it is short-lived and, when weighed up against the impact it makes on people’s lives, it is a tiny sacrifice. So, if you’re already a donor and due to donate, get yourself down to your nearest SANBS donor clinic. If you aren’t but like the idea of being a hero and saving lives, today’s a good time to start.

SANBS have developed a short online quiz to help you determine if today is a good day for you to save some lives. Take their 2-minute quiz to find out if you meet the requirements to donate blood.

Check where your nearest blood donor centre is here.

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