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What to expect

The idea of donating blood can leave anyone weak at the knees. But there's nothing to worry about – our super-efficient nurses will make your 20-minute experience with us as pleasant as possible.

If you have any more questions about the process, please visit our FAQ page or contact us.

 

Before you go to give blood, do the following:

  • Make sure you meet our donor criteria, and that none of the deferral criteria.
  • Eat a substantial meal three to four hours before heading off to the donation clinic.
  • Increase your fluid intake on the day, both before and after giving blood.

What to expect at the clinic:

  • When you arrive, you'll need to take your ID or donor ID card to reception.
  • Of course, if you’re a new donor, we'll need you to register first.
  • You'll be given a confidential donor questionnaire to complete (you'll need to do this each time you donate).
  • We'll then test your haemoglobin/HB (iron) levels (it's just a little finger-prick test).
  • Next, we'll check your blood pressure and pulse. A mini-medical! Yay!
  • If all is okay, the sister will insert a new, sterile needle into your arm and begin the donation process.
  • You get to lie back and relax for about 10 minutes, which is roughly how long this part of the process lasts. During this time you’ll give only 475ml of blood – not even half a litre. And with this you can save up to three lives. Isn’t that amazing?
  • You’re encouraged to take your time after your donation. Enjoy a nice cup of tea or fruit juice and have a cookie or two. Don’t rush off – the sister needs to make sure that you’re feeling fine.
  • We’ll see you again in 56 days!

Things to do afterwards:

  • Relax and have a cup of tea, coffee or juice. (It's on us!) Liquids will help to replace the blood volume that’s been lost. Make sure you have lots of non-alcoholic fluids for the rest of the day.
  • Keep the dressing on your arm clean, dry and in place for five hours.
  • If your arm starts bleeding, raise it up and apply pressure to the site until the bleeding stops.
  • Avoid heavy exercise or lifting on the day of donation, and reduce regular exercise for a few days after.
  • If you feel faint, lie down on your back with your legs elevated.
  • If you’re worried about pain or bruising in your arm, please contact us and ask to speak to our Medical Sister or Medical Officer.

Your body’s recovery process:

Your body will replace the plasma (that's the liquid component of your blood) within 24 hours. The red blood cells will take three to four days to reproduce, and the iron will be replaced within six to eight weeks.

Find a donation centre

We endeavour to make your donation experience as convenient as possible.

Therefore, we take mobile donation teams to malls, businesses, churches, town halls, schools, universities, factories and government departments across Namibia at regular intervals. Our mobile collections teams visit over 147 different venues every year.

If however, you find yourself in Windhoek, Swakopmund or Walvis Bay, you can donate blood at a fixed donation centre, which is open on specific days and times on a weekly basis.

 

Clinic Schedules. Click on the link to view.

CLINIC SCHEDULE

 

FIXED Donation Centres


NamBTS Donation Centre and Head Office
35 Tal Street, Windhoek
Mondays – Fridays
07:00 – 16:00

NamBTS United House Centre
Independence Avenue, Windhoek
(Opposite the main Post Office)
Mondays – Fridays
08:30 – 16:00

Swakopmund Donation Centre
Ferdinand Stich Street
Mondays
13:00 – 18:00

Walvis Bay Donation Centre
WelwitschiaMedi-Park
Tuesdays
13:00 – 18:00



FAQs – I’m ready to donate

How long does it take to donate?

It should not take longer than 30 minutes.

Although the actual donation takes 10 minutes at most, it takes time to fill in the Health & Lifestyle Questionnaire, be interviews and enjoy refreshments to ensure that you feel well before you leave the clinic.

 

How often can I donate?

Whole blood donors can give blood every 56 days, which is roughly every 8 weeks or two months.

Plasma Apheresis donors can give blood once a month.

 

Will I feel week after giving blood?

You shouldn’t. We do however recommend that you avoid strenuous exercise and high-energy activities for 12 hours after donating. By drinking plenty of water, you will help your body to recover faster.

 

Is it safe to give blood?

Completely. New, sterile equipment is used for every single donation, therefore there is no chance of infection. If you complete the Health & Lifestyle Questionnaire completely and honestly, you will also not put your own health and safety at risk during the screening process.

 

Does it hurt to donate blood?

There is a tiny bit of discomfort during the finger-prick haemoglobin test and of course during the insertion of the needle. Although many are nervous about the needle, it truly doesn’t hurt and the reward is so much greater than a moment of discomfort – it’s about saving lives!

 

What tests will be performed on my blood after donation?

Every single blood donation gets tests for its blood group, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, syphilis and various other abnormalities.

 

What happens if I test positive for any viruses or abnormalities?

The NamBTS will give you a call personally and invite you to donate blood for a confirmatory test. Should you test positive again, a counselling and referral support process is put in motion. Therefore, if you don’t hear anything from us, you can rest assured that your donation was screened and cleared for release to save lives.

 

Why do you ask such personal questions during the screening process?

A major component of the screening process is designed to identify those people who are at a greater risk of transmitting blood borne infections. In order to safeguard the blood supply and the lives of patients, it is imperative that these people do not give blood. Al screening measures must meet stringent regulatory requirements for the safety of the donor and the patient.

 

I’m a regular donor. Why should I complete the screening process each time I donate?

For your own health and safety and that of the patient. It is an integral part of the entire screening process. The Questionnaire is designed to identify changes to your health/lifestyle and changes in medication since your last attendance. At each donation, based on the answers you provide, our staff will determine if you can safely donate and whether your donation can be used for patients.

 

Does NamBTS pay donors for their donations?

No. NamBTS only receives blood donations from voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors. This is in keeping with international World Health Organisation and Red Cross policies that encourage the concept of voluntary blood donations for altruistic reasons alone, and not for personal gain.