Why It's Important to Give Blood During Trying Times

Why It's Important to Give Blood During Trying Times

Blood Banks | 18 March 2020

Posted by Bruce Wray


In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic , it’s important we take measures to care for ourselves and those around us. As a partner of several major blood collection centers around the world, we are aware of the concerns and questions the donors they rely on are having amid this crisis. It’s time to clear the air about donating during a pandemic and the great impact your donation will have on those in need. So let’s get started!

Why Should I Donate Blood During a Health Crisis?

The need for blood donations is constant; not only do people rely on transfusions and blood-based therapies when managing chronic illnesses or medical emergencies, but donations only remain usable for a limited time. Thus, it is important blood banks maintain a reliable stock of blood products at all times, so blood, platelets, red cells, and plasma must be collected without fail and frequently.

As citizens of countries around the world are advised to self-isolate, people are avoiding venturing out for unnecessary activities. Unfortunately this has led to a severe drop in blood donations, which will cause supply to dwindle over time, making treatment of chronic conditions and emergencies such as severe traffic accidents, difficult or impossible to treat. .

Is it Safe to Donate Blood During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

With government and health authorities advising us to stay in as much as possible many people are wondering if it’s safe to donate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Professionals are saying ‘yes’ and are strongly encouraging you do so if you are able.

As anyone who has donated blood in the past should be aware, the donation process already involves significant sanitary and safety measures—the donor’s arm is prepared with a sterile aseptic cleaning solution and all needles and bags are single-use only.  Phlebotomists wear protective rubber gloves. All these procedures have been in place for years to protect the safety of the donor, the staff, and the quality of the blood product itself.

When it comes to COVID-19 specifically, many blood collection centers are taking additional precautions, although there is no evidence the coronavirus, or any other respiratory virus, can be transmitted through blood transfusion. As you would expect, blood collection facilities in the US are asking individuals who have travelled to certain areas, have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone presumed to have the virus to postpone donating for 28 days. Many donation centers around the world are taking similar precautions in an effort to reduce the likelihood of exposure within their facilities.

During this difficult time, it certainly is important to take measures to ensure our own safety, but we can’t forget those in need. Giving blood at any time can save lives, but it is especially important now as blood banks face severe shortages of donations. We hope this post has assured you of the safety of donating at this time, and may even encourage you to get out there and help those who need it most. Additionally, we invite you to check out the following pages from healthcare leaders for more information on giving blood during the COVID-19 outbreak:

Red Cross Media Statement on Coronavirus 2019

NHS: Coronavirus Latest Updates

World Health Organization: Why Should I Donate Blood

Canadian Blood Services: Why You Won’t Get COVID-19 from a Blood Transfusion

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Bruce Wray

Bruce Wray is Computype’s Transfusion Medicine Market Manager. He is a resident barcode expert, and works with blood banks and diagnostic instrumentation firms to uniquely and reliably identify blood products and diagnostic specimens for improved productivity, efficiency, and accuracy. Bruce has been with Computype for 38 years, and throughout this time has provided labeling solutions to countless customers.