Local news

SANBS advises blood donors to maintain good balance of iron elements

Regular donors play a crucial role in ensuring a steady supply of blood products for medical emergencies, surgeries, and chronic conditions, underscoring the importance of their contribution.

Every day in SA, countless lives are saved and improved because of donors’ generosity.

However, amid the noble act of giving, a crucial yet often overlooked element stands tall: How important it is to maintain adequate iron levels for donors.

Understanding and addressing this vital component is not just a matter of personal well-being but a cornerstone of ensuring effective blood donation practices that truly make a difference in the lives of those in need.

ALSO READ: Join a mission of saving lives by donating blood – SANBS

Low iron levels can lead to fatigue, dizziness, and other health issues, which affect not only the quality and quantity of blood donations but also pose a risk to the donor’s health, underscoring the importance of maintaining adequate iron levels.

Ensuring donors’ health and wellness is a moral obligation and a responsibility of the South African National Blood Service (SANBS).

Regular donors play a crucial role in ensuring a steady supply of blood products for medical emergencies, surgeries, and chronic conditions, underscoring the importance of their contribution.

As a major constituent of haemoglobin, iron declines in the body during blood donation. The body needs iron for various metabolic processes, including producing new blood cells.

The SANBS encourages regular and potential new donors to prioritise supplementing this precious element.

ALSO READ: SANBS urges South Africans to donate blood

Donors lose about 250mg of iron during whole blood donation. While replenishing the lost iron can be done through diet, it may take over 12 weeks for some individuals to recover it.

In addition to supplements, it recommends consuming iron-rich foods such as lean meats, beans, spinach, and fortified cereals.

“At SANBS, we recognise iron’s crucial role in maintaining healthy blood levels, particularly for blood donors. Iron supplements are essential in replenishing iron stores, ensuring our donors remain healthy and can continue their life-saving contributions.

“The programme aims to provide iron supplements to whole blood donors between the ages of 16 and 45 to help replenish the iron lost during blood donation,” said Dr Pheello Lethola, the SANBS lead consultant donor services.

Related Articles

Back to top button