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Many companies, clinics and hospitals run initiatives for World Blood Donor Day, but do you know why donating blood is vital?

  1. A unit of blood can save up to three lives.
  2. One out of 10 people who enters a hospital needs a blood transfusion.
  3. You could save premature babies, people who were in an accident, cancer patients and many, many more.
  4. Blood can be stored for 42 days only, so a constant supply is needed.
  5. Donating blood benefits you as well because helping others reduces your stress levels, provides you with a sense of belonging, and just generally makes you feel good.

How you can donate blood

Never given blood before? It's a lot easier than you think!

  1. Go to your nearest donation centre.
  2. Complete a short donor questionnaire. This assesses your health and lifestyle for any red flags that may mean you can't donate. For example, if you've had a tattoo or piercing in the last six months or are underweight.
  3. A nurse will have a one-on-one interview with you to make sure you understood all the questions and to confirm that you are able to donate blood.
  4. Your blood pressure and iron levels will be checked.
  5. Then the blood donation starts. It shouldn't be painful and donation centres use only new, sterile needles. About 480ml of blood will be collected. In total, the entire process takes only 30 minutes.

Want to know more? Visit the South African National Blood Service's website.

Remember, you never know when you may be the one who needs blood – no one is immune to accidents or disaster – so start paying it forward this World Blood Donor Day. And just in case disaster does strike, make sure your family is sorted with Vodacom's Life Cover.

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