Coronavirus (COVID-19)

At the Welsh Blood Service, we take great care to ensure the safety of our blood supply and the health and well-being of our donors and patients during the current COVID-19 outbreak to ensure the optimal safety of our patients and donors.

The Welsh Blood Service are closely monitoring all developments in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak and are putting measures in place to maintain blood supply safety which are outlined in the questions and answers section below:

Your questions answered

Can I donate?

If you have been tested and diagnosed with COVID-19, you can donate when at least 14 days have passed following your recovery of symptoms. You may be left with a dry cough, but as long as you feel well, you can then donate.

If you have been in self-isolation because of possible symptoms or because of contact with someone who is unwell, you cannot donate until:

  • 14 days from the first day of isolation if you remain symptom free
  • 14 days following from resolution of any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 you may have developed whilst in self isolation.If you have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is showing symptoms suggestive of the disease, BUT you have not been advised to self-isolate, you can continue to donate as long as you are well.

In all instances, if you donate, it is important that you report any illnesses that you develop in the 14 days post donation.

Travel to blood donation sessions is essential.

 

Will my donation session go ahead?

Currently our blood donation clinics continue to operate as usual.

We are constantly evaluating the situation here in Wales and are keeping up-to-date with the latest advice and guidance on the coronavirus outbreak. We are also in regular contact with all our clinic host venues, Public Health Wales and Welsh Government colleagues to ensure we can continue to safely collect our blood donations across Wales.

If we have to cancel a clinic you will receive a direct message from us informing you it has been cancelled via your chosen communication preferences.

 

 

Are you donation clinics environments safe?

We follow strict guidelines and controls to reduce the risk of any infections being contracted at our clinics; this includes strict screening processes that ensures donors are fit and healthy before they make a donation.

 

What about social distancing on session?

At the Welsh Blood Service the wider safety of our donors, recipients and staff is of paramount importance.

As a service we are working hard to put in place various additional measures within our clinics including enhanced environmental cleaning, effective hand hygiene, increased donor screening and Social Distancing aimed to both reduce the social interaction of individuals within clinics and the prevention of spread of COVID19 during the pandemic.

 

 

What is COVID-19?

Covid-19 is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China. Coronavirus are a group of viral diseases that can cause coughing, fever, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. It can be more severe in older people, those with weakened immune systems and some long-term conditions like diabetes or cancer.

 

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a viral disease that can cause symptoms such as:

  • cough
  • fever
  • Shortness of Breath / difficulty breathing

If you are concerned regarding the symptoms of COVID-19 or would like more information NHS Direct Wales have developed an automated online symptom checker suitable for anyone living in Wales and can be used for people of all ages. It can be accessed by clicking here.

 

What do I do if I have been to an affected area or in contact with a case of COVID-19 and have these symptoms?

To view the latest guidance and self-isolation advice from Public Health Wales click here.

 

Can my blood donation pass on COVID-19?

There is no evidence that COVID-19 is transmissible by blood transfusion, and our strict screening process means we don’t allow people who are unwell to donate blood.

 

Am I more susceptible to contracting COVID-19 if I have given blood?

No. We don’t take enough blood to compromise your immune system and as long as you are fit and healthy when you donate you are not at any additional risk.

 

What can I do to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus?

Do
Wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser for at least 20 seconds:

  • After breaks and sports activities.
  • Before cooking and eating.
  • On arrival at any childcare or educational setting.
  • After using the toilet
  • Before leaving home.

If you need to cough or sneeze:

  • Catch it with a tissue or your sleeve.
  • Bin it. Put used tissue in the bin straight away.
  • Kill it. By washing your hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser.

Stop germs spreading by using the e-Bug resources on hand and respiratory hygiene available here.

Don’t
Try not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Do not share items that come into contact with your mouth such as cups and bottles.

If unwell do not share items such as bedding, dishes, pencils and towels.