World Blood Donor Day was celebrated on June 14 and the community come out in their numbers to help save a life in Berea, Beacon Bay Crossing and Vincent Park to mark this special day.
June is also National Blood Donor Month in South Africa, a month which carries extra importance since the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) has been running at critically low stocks in their banks.
The winter months cause a shortage in blood shortages as because it’s the season synonymous with colds and flu and one can’t donate while sick.
In the case of Candice Ferreira, a blood transfusion saved her life after an emergency C-section.
“I was pregnant with my first child in 2016 when I was diagnosed with placenta previa which caused me to have blood clots almost the size of tennis balls,” said Ferreira
Placenta previa is when the uterus partially or completely covers the cervix which then causes severe bleeding during pregnancy and delivery.
On her fourth hospital visit, her obstetrician decided that she needed an immediate C-section.
“I was bleeding pretty badly and was put under general anaesthesia. My body simply couldn’t cope with the stress. I had two units of blood transfused and was in the hospital for four days,” she said.
Harley, now almost two years old, was born prematurely. Ferreira said she was “growing well and we are blessed to have her”.
She also added that until you’re in such a life-and-death situation, you don’t know how much you actually depend on a blood transfusion.
“I would love to donate blood but I can’t as my veins are too small. I do, however, promote blood drives and work together with the SANBS as much as I can,” she said.
Donor relations practitioner Rene Vice said that it was important to be able to have a variety of blood products.
“Ideally, if blood donors donated blood every eight weeks, there would rarely be a blood shortage.”