Witsies let the blood flow

s3010176.jpgPhoto taken by Melissa Douman

Melissa Douman

WITSIES last week took part in a “blood-letting” event that had Sini Subrayin, public relations officer of the Johannesburg branch of the South African National Blood Services, in raptures.

Almost 200 students supported the SANBS blood drive on the East and West campus last week – a turnout that Subrayin described as “absolutely fantastic”.

On the first day 45 Witsies presented themselves for the blood drive on West Campus and a day later 134 gave blood on East campus. This brings to 515 the number of Witsies who have donated blood this year. The blood drives are held almost every month over two days on the respective campuses.

The donation process involves a questionnaire and discussion with a nurse to establish whether or not you are a suitable donor.

Of the 179 students who volunteered to give blood, 41 were not accepted. This was due mainly to low blood pressure, being on antibiotics, or having an iron deficiency.

To become a safe blood donor one should weigh at least 50kg; be between the ages of 16 and 65; be in good health; lead a sexually safe lifestyle; and consider your blood safe for transfusion.

One donation can save up to three lives. The blood is mainly given to women who haemorrhage after a complicated pregnancy, accident victims, children with severe anaemia and cancer patients. Blood cannot be created in a lab. There is a great demand for blood.

Any blood type is accepted. The most favourable blood type is the O blood type as this type can be given to patients of other blood types. An O blood type is thus termed the “universal donor”.

People are urged not use the facility as grounds to be tested for HIV. The result may not be conclusive and as such may place patients receiving the blood at risk.

Only 480ml of blood is drawn per donation. The average human body holds at least five litres of blood. This blood therefore is quickly replaced.

Witsies have another chance to donate again in the upcoming months.

The next blood drive will take place on East Campus, Senate House on the 13 and 14 of August.


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