Intrepid team challenges South Africans to better their impressive record

Collection of 251 lifesaving units of blood sees provincial record smashed

Thursday, September 20 2018

Netcare uMhlanga Hospital, East Coast Radio and the South African National Blood Services (SANBS) recently set a KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) blood-drive record when they teamed up to collect 251 units of blood, the highest volume of blood collected until now in a single venue in the space of a day.

According to Marc van Heerden, general manager of Netcare uMhlanga Hospital, a total of 336 people were screened during the blood drive, which was hosted at the hospital on Friday, 14 September.

Pic: "Marc Van Heerden, general manager of Netcare uMhlanga Hospital (left) and East Coast radio's Darren Maule lends some much needed support and encouragement to donors during the recent SANBS blood drive that was hosted at the hospital."

“Best of all, the SANBS got 162 new donors which is an incredible feat for a single day. Donating blood is a selfless act and what makes it even more special is the fact that you can do so much for so many people with such little effort,” he adds.

Netcare uMhlanga Hospital and East Coast Radio have extended a blood donation challenge to the public and businesses throughout KwaZulu-Natal. “The idea is to encourage as many staff members, visitors, businesses and members of the public as possible to do their bit for our country through donating blood,” says Van Heerden.

Commenting on the blood drive, East Coast Radio presenter, Damon Beard, thanked everyone who participated. “It was such an incredible experience to be at the hospital on the morning of the drive and see how everyone rallied and how well it was organised.”

“When you donate blood, you are giving the gift of life and there is no more profound way to express care for your fellow South Africans than by sharing your life blood and by keeping yourself healthy so that you can continue to donate blood,” he said.

Phelelani Mkhize, SANBS KZN: Zone Donor Manager, thanked the team for their commitment and for embarking on the partnership with the SANBS, saying that blood stock levels have shown an improvement in the province.

“Blood levels in KZN are up and we now have 4.2 days stock available. Nationally, we have 3.9 days stock available. This is great news for the SANBS because we can now issue the units requested by doctors and we can help save lives,” he added.

One pint of blood can potentially save up to three lives, according to the International Red Cross; Friday’s blood drive at Netcare uMhlanga Hospital may therefore touch the lives of up to 753 people.

In order to maintain and meet the demand of the thousands of patients in need of blood transfusions in KZN, SANBS needs to collect 300 units of blood per day.


Criteria for first-time donor to donate blood:

  • Must be between the ages of 16 and 65
  • Must have a body mass of at least 50kg
  • Must adhere to safe sexual practises
  • Must be free of diseases such as HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B and C.

Mark van Heerden, general manager of Netcare uMhlanga Hospital (lying down) gets some much needed moral support from Damon Beard of East Coast Radio (left), Belinda Lehnerdt, nursing services manager and Prisantha Moodley, pharmacy manager

People should eat a small snack within four hours before donating blood, as this can help to offset the chance of feeling faint or light-headed afterwards.

“The only way we can successfully overcome the blood shortage in our country is if we raise awareness and get more people to donate more frequently. By law you may only donate every 56 days and this is done to ensure that a donor has enough time to regenerate the red cells,” explains Van Heerden.

Because of this amazing response, Netcare uMhlanga Hospital and East Coast Radio in conjunction with SANBS will do another blood-drive that will commence close to the December holiday period as this is a time where blood supply is in high demand.


Issued by:           MNA on behalf of Netcare uMhlanga Hospital
Contact:               Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville and Estene Lotriet-Vorster
Telephone:        (011) 469 3016
Email:               [email protected], [email protected] or   [email protected]