|With one of the friendly SANBS sisters and my new, cosy SANBS winter blankie|
This lead to my favourite theme - once-off donations; where people do feel-good donations on "67 Minutes for Mandela" day and during the Easter and Christmas shopping mall blood drives.
If these well-intentioned once-off donors would just come back again...
Keep in mind that while SANBS does value each and every donation, unless you go back at least three times a year (max of six times), every year to become a regular donor and maintain your regular donor status, your blood will not be used and that donation will be a complete waste of your time and blood as well as the equipment (bags, needles and such) and the staff.
Think about it...
Would you like to receive blood that comes from an off-the-street person? While their blood would have been through stringent tests for HIV and Hepatitis, there are things like window periods, which is the between potential exposure to HIV infection and the point when the test will give an accurate result. During the window period a person can be infected with HIV and infectious but have a negative HIV test.
Blood from regular donors goes through these tests every time and thus risks are substantially lowered.
Here's how it works:
- You donate blood for the first time (first time every or first time in a long time - same thing)
- Your blood goes through the tests and then sits on ice
- You go in a second time a few months later
- Your second donation goes through the tests and if it is clear, this donation goes on ice and the plasma from your first donation is used
- You go in a third time WITHIN A YEAR
- This donation goes through the tests and if it is clear, then it will be used, together with the plasma from the second donation
- Thereafter you need to maintain your regular donor status - your whole blood from every donation will be used
So... if you donated for '67 Minutes for Mandela' on 18 July...
The period between donations is 52 days. For ease of calculation I work on two months.
Thus, you can donate again from mid-September. If you go any time from then to mid-October, this put your in line to be a regular donor (3rd donation) by December when blood supplies plummet and blood is needed for the thousands of car accident victims over the festive season.
Please, donate again. We need more regular donors; not once-off, feel-good, well-intentioned but waste-of-time-and-resources donation.