Save life and donate blood

July highlights and celebrates the millions of people worldwide who give their blood voluntarily to help those in need.

This National Blood Donor Month, ER24 thanks blood donors for their gift of life and urges others to donate if they are eligible to do so.

Severe blood loss can lead to a number of complications and result in death.

Speaking about some of the incidents he has attended, Derrick Banks, ER24 Hillcrest Branch Manager, said, “Each situation and patient is different. We attend to patients injured in collisions, people injured after falling from a height and patients who are shot or stabbed for example.

“When paramedics arrive on the scene of any situation, they assess and conduct a primary overview of the patient. If the patient has any signs of severe bleeding, paramedics try to stop or limit the bleeding. The patient is treated and transported to hospital for further medical care,” he said.

Banks stressed it is vital that a patient with severe blood loss receive immediate emergency care. “Blood carries oxygen and other essential substances to organs and tissues. Hypovolemic shock, also known as haemorrhagic shock, is a life-threatening condition that occurs when a person loses more than 20% of their blood or fluid supply. This makes it impossible for the heart to pump sufficient blood to the body and as a result, a patient risks organ failure or death.”

“She needed blood due to the severity of the injuries she sustained. She was rushed to a nearby hospital where she underwent surgery. The surgery went well and she is recovering,” he said.

By donating just one unit of blood, which is 480ml, you can help save up to three lives. There are certain requirements for those wanting to donate blood. Donors must be between the ages of 16 and 65, be a minimum weight of 50kg, be in good health and live a sexually safe lifestyle.

Derrick Banks, ER24 Hillcrest Branch Manager, donates blood.