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Donating blood is still safe during COVID-19

The Coronavirus might have changed our day-to-day lives in more ways than one, but the need for safe blood donation for treatments and urgent interventions is still crucial.

Who needs blood?

Accident trauma patients, surgical and cancer patients, children with severe anaemia, premature babies and women haemorrhaging due to pregnancy complications and other gynaecological complications

We’d like to encourage everyone to keep on donating blood and for those who wish to start, rest assured that amidst all the Coronavirus concerns it is still safe to do so.

Can I still donate blood?

If you are feeling healthy to do so, you can.

The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) have put in precautionary deferrals relevant to the following groups of people:

  • People who have travelled to affected countries outside of SA will be deferred for 21 days,
  • People with confirmed cases of Coronavirus infection will be deferred for 28 days from the date of complete clearance of symptoms, and
  • People who have been in close contact with confirmed or probable coronavirus cases will be deferred for 21 days from the last day of contact.

Can the virus be contracted through blood?

No. According to the SANBS, there is presently no evidence that supports that COVID-19 can be transmitted through blood. They state further that “individuals are not at risk of contracting COVID-19 through the blood donation or via a blood transfusion process since respiratory viruses are generally not known to be transmittable by donation or transfusion.”

Individuals with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe illness. If you are feeling unwell or showing any of these symptoms, we advise you to delay your blood donation:

  • fever
  • cough
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • chills
  • muscle pain
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • new loss of taste or smell

If you’d like to become a donor or want to find out more about blood donation, please visit the SANBS website for more:

You can visit ER24’s Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Information Portal for more information on COVID-19:

Source: SANBS

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