Is it Possible to Donate Blood During the Pandemic?

May 15, 2020
In these last few weeks and months, countries around the world have been devastated by the new COVID-19 pandemic. Find out everything you need to know about how to donate blood during this period.

Blood donations are always essential in all situations and at all times of the year. Every day, many hospitalized people need emergency transfusions and depend on the voluntary and altruistic donations of citizens. Because of this, it’s even more necessary to donate blood during the pandemic.

Many countries around the world are needing more donations than ever from their citizens. In this article, we’ll be giving you some guidelines about how and where you can do this and who can donate.

Why is it so important to donate blood?

Donating blood can help save lives and improve health. It’s a real gift for those whose lives are in danger.

Regular blood donations help hospitals to have safe supplies of blood where and when it’s needed. People donate blood without any financial gain, voluntarily, responsibly, and anonymously. However, this altruistic activity really makes a difference for hospitals.

When facing a pandemic, the need for health care is even greater. This, as a result, means that the demand for blood is greater than usual and the reserves are exhausted more quickly. That’s why people should donate as they normally do, and even increase their donations.

You might like: Using the Blood from Cured Coronavirus Patients to Treat COVID-19

How to donate blood during the pandemic

Before you go to donate blood during the pandemic, you’ll need to find know all the necessary measures you need to take to prevent contagion.

Here are the main ones:

If you make an appointment with the blood bank via SMS or email, this will, in turn, serve as a justification for your journey if there are currently strict travel restrictions in your country.

You need to comply with all the general prevention measures:

  • Hand washing
  • Not touching your nose or mouth
  • Coughing into your elbow if you don’t have a tissue
  • Keeping a safe social distance
  • Wearing a mask during the procedure (if required)
  • Always making sure you report any symptoms that may be related to the coronavirus to the blood bank team

However, each donation service will comply with all the safety standards put in place by the corresponding health services of your country, and they are instructed to report any suspected signs or symptoms.

Where can you donate?

Donations are mainly made at blood banks. As a general rule, these will be in hospitals, but there are also other mobile blood donating vehicles where you can donate. These are being specifically conditioned to ensure safe social distancing.

Find out more: Blood Transfusions: Purpose and Procedure

Who can donate?

Currently, there isn’t any scientific evidence to show that coronavirus can be transmitted via blood. In fact, the blood banks don’t generally do any tests either on people or on their blood when they go to donate, although this does depend on the country in question.

All countries have established special safety measures, and they will vary from country to country, but here are some general guidelines:

In general, the basic criteria for donation will remain the same: over 18 years of age, under 65 years of age, weighing over 50 kilos (110 pounds), and in good health. However, some exceptions can exist for different diseases.

  • Healthy people without flu symptoms can donate blood.
  • Persons exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 are temporarily excluded for up to 14 days.
  • People who have traveled to risk areas will be excluded for up to 28 days.
  • People confirmed positive for the virus are temporarily excluded for up to 14 days.
  • Persons who have or have had symptoms such as fever, dry cough, runny nose, sore throat, difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell and/or diarrhea in the last 14 days won’t be able to give blood.

Donating blood during the COVID-19 pandemic

In conclusion, we must remember that blood donations are possible and more necessary than ever during the pandemic. The coronavirus is affecting most countries around the world, and there is still no specific treatment available to combat it.

So, take these preventive safety measures into account, and, if you can, help by donating blood. Give blood, give life!