Blood donors reassured it’s safe to give amid COVID-19 fears

Canadian Blood Services saw appointment cancellations jump in several cities

Canadian Blood Services is reassuring donors that it is safe to give after COVID-19 fears led to appointment cancellations.

“We want to reassure the public that our clinics are safe,” said Canadian Blood Services spokesperson Delphine Denis on Wednesday.

Denis said “our protocols for screening donors and cleaning our sites have always been extremely robust. Respiratory infections are common and we are prepared.

“Only healthy people are eligible to donate blood. All prospective donors are carefully screened for any symptoms of illness.”

While the increase in cancellation in a number of cities is “worrying,” Canadian Blood Services is able to move its blood to where it’s needed.

However, individual and group cancellations can have a “dramatic impact on patients in Canada who continue to need blood products to treat cancers, trauma and many surgeries,” said Denis.

The blood collecting non-profit organization is following the advice of disease experts and federal and provincial agencies.

Current evidence and risk modelling suggests that COVID-19 cannot be transmitted through blood or blood products, such as plasma.

On Monday, new protocols were announced to ensure donation remains safe.

• Anyone asked by public health to place themselves under observation or self-quarantine are not allowed to donate for 14 days from the date of their last contact with a case or suspected case of COVID-19.

• Anyone with a case or suspected case in their household cannot donate for 14 days after the infected person’s recovery.

• Anyone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 is not allowed to donate for 56 days after full recovery from the infection.

Should new information about COVID-19 emerge, Canadian Blood Services will take additional measures and alter its protocols.

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