With a new decade upon us, this is a time for reflection and resolutions. A time for making plans for the year ahead. However, the beginning of a year is a time when for many the demands of our day to day life continue. Such is the case for doctors who work hard at saving lives and in many cases can only do so with the help of blood and blood products from blood donors.

Due to the loyalty of our regular blood donors and the increasing number of South Africans who have started donating, 2019 was a successful year for the South African National Blood Service (SANBS). Blood stock levels were adequate throughout the year and well over a million blood products were issued to patients requiring blood transfusions. The SANBS wishes to thank all blood donors for their support during 2019.

During the last week blood stocks have, for the first time in many months, dropped below the ideal level of 5 days cover due to the holiday period and associated decrease in blood donations. 3500 donations is required daily to meet the demand of patients.

The SANBS encourages the public and current blood donors to find time this New Year to donate blood and help us ensure another year of sufficient blood product so that every patient requiring a life-saving blood transfusion receives it when needed. Each blood donation can save up to three lives. Bring your friends and family and commit to starting the year on a good note and offer someone in need an opportunity to do the same with their loved ones.

The SANBS can only do this with the help of regular and committed blood donors.

Visit www.sanbs.org.za or contact 0800 11 9031 to find out where you can donate blood. Follow us on Twitter (@theSANBS), Facebook (@SANBS) and Instagram (@thesanbs).