The Western Cape Blood Service (WCBS) would like to appeal to all our healthy donors to please continue to donate blood. The WCBS would like to assure donors that donating blood is safe. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) cannot be transmitted through a blood transfusion as respiratory viruses are generally not known to be transmitted by blood donation or transfusion.
Blood donor screening, which includes a COVID-19 questionnaire and temperature checks of all staff and potential donors, are already in place to prevent individuals who may be at risk of clinical respiratory infections from donating blood. As part of our protocols, clinic staff maintain a high level of hand hygiene. Staff sanitise their hands regularly by washing their hands with soap and water in addition to using hand sanitiser before and after each encounter with a donor. Hand sanitiser is readily available for donors to use at each clinic. All staff wear appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE). Social distancing is maintained by spacing donation beds accordingly and beds are sanitised after each donor.
The WCBS is currently experiencing a shortage of O-, A+ and B+ blood groups. The WCBS would like to urge healthy donors who belong to all blood groups to continue to donate blood to ensure that the blood stock levels are adequate at all times in the Western Cape. “We anticipate added pressure on the blood supply during the festive season and the added effects of the Coronavirus could see the number of eligible donors decrease in the following weeks”, says Michelle Vermeulen, Head of Marketing and Public Relations for the WCBS.
The WCBS urges donors to take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of fellow citizens. If you are feeling unwell or exhibiting any clinical symptoms of infection (fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat and shortness of breath), you are requested to delay donating blood until you are in good health.