For many years now Hatzolah has operated a blood database whereby community members who are already registered blood donors with the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) are encouraged to submit to us their contact details. The local community has been called on for urgent blood donations where there are blood shortages. However, it is not always easy to find the right type of blood and some people may have more rare blood types than others.

We’re encouraging the community to submit their contact details and blood type to us, which will be recorded and used so that – when the need arises – we can call upon the right people and get the right blood to the patient who needs it – quickly and efficiently.Only community members who are already registered donors with the sanbs are suitable for this project. If you are not already a registered SANBS blood donor why not register with them and start to donate blood to the national blood bank after which you will be able to join our database. When it comes to platelet donation, you probably want to know more so here is some insight.

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Q? What are platelets?

A. Platelets are cells that circulate in the blood and clot to keep us from bleeding.

Q? What causes low platelet count?

A. There are many causes of low platelet count including chemotherapy for certain kinds of cancers, or that a person’s bone marrow is not forming enough platelets or that the body is breaking down its platelets at too fast a rate.

Q? What are the consequences of having a low platelet count?

A. The most serious consequence of low platelet count is that dangerous internal bleeding can occur.

Q? Who can be a platelet donor?

A. To be a platelet donor, you must be between 16 and 60 years of age and weigh 55 kg or more. You will be tested to ensure your own platelet count is high enough. In addition a platelet donor can have no medical history of hepatitis.

Q? How are platelets donated?

A. The donation process is quite simple and takes about 60 – 90 minutes. Blood is collected from the donor and is processed through a cell separator where it is separated into the different components. The platelets are removed and collected in a bag, while the remaining components are returned to the donor’s body.

Q? Suppose I decide against being a donor?

A. You have the right to withdraw your offer at any time and you would be supported in your decision by Life2Life.

We hope this has provided you with some basic and interesting information regarding blood and platelet donation. A number of further on-line resources are set out below for you to continue on your investigative journey of deciding whether or not to donate blood or platelets.
Here is a list of websites you can visit for more insight:

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Give blood. Give life.