Safety protocols for blood donation during coronavirus pandemic
June 4, 2020
Blood transfusion is the difference between life and death for many. Thalassemia patients, accident victims, pregnant women and many patients require blood transfusion to stay alive. During this pandemic with social distancing, staying home and avoiding crowds becoming essential, blood centres are following new protocols to ensure safe blood supplies to people in need.
The new guidelines for safe blood donation
High-risk donors cannot donate blood
COVID-19 positive patients and those who have travelled from an area with COVID-19 or have been in contact with COVID-19 positive people cannot donate blood. This makes the donation camp COVID free.
The new social distancing measures are in place
One meter distance between individuals, restriction of shaking hands etc., hand washing protocols, equipment cleanliness protocols, blood donation couches placed one meter apart from each other, measures to control overcrowding are all being followed to ensure donor safety.
Infection control protocols
Educating staff and donors about safe practices such as hand hygiene, cough etiquette, self-isolation if sick, maintaining distance from confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, safe disposal of used bio-medical wastes, adequate sanitization of frequently touched surfaces and providing facilities such as running water, soap, hand sanitizer, personal protection equipment ensure safety for the donors and the staff.
Blood collection protocols
Blood collection from regular repeat voluntary blood donors is encouraged. In-house and outdoor blood donation camps are organized adhering to guidelines. Blood collection is not carried out in identified outbreak areas.
Donors are apprised of changes in selection, screening and blood collection process for better compliance. Posters, leaflets etc. about new screening process and requesting self-deference in case of travel to outbreak area, contact with COVID-19 patients or confirmed COVID-19 patients are being used to educate the donors.
Post donation support
If a donor reports to the centre within 14 days of donating blood with symptoms of COVID-19, or is confirmed of being COVID-19 or has a close contact confirmed as COVID-19, adequate support will be provided in the form of referral for management.
As a blood donor, your contribution is immeasurable. Blood donation drives and centres are going the extra mile to keep you safe during the process. Please ensure that you provide the correct information during donation to enable us to serve your better.