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Face masks to be added to blood donation precautions

10/7/2020 16:00

With the coronavirus epidemic gaining momentum, the authorities are recommending more widespread use of face masks in public places. Face masks can now also be worn at the Blood Service in order to protect nurses and donors during close contacts. Our nurses are using face masks in areas where the epidemic has reached acceleration or spreading stage. Also blood donors can use a mask during the interview with the nurse. Regular hand washing and social distancing remain the most important ways to prevent the potential spread of infections.

Donors are still advised to take off their mask to drink and to prove their identity, but they can put their mask back on afterwards and wear a mask provided by the Blood Service nurse during their interview.

Masks must be taken off in the donation chair before the donation process begins, and donors must use hand sanitiser after taking off their mask. Masks cannot be worn during the donation process, as it can make it more difficult for staff to monitor the donor’s condition and may increase the risk of nausea.

The main precautions for blood donation are still social distancing (1–2 metres) whenever possible as well as good hand hygiene. Please do not visit the Blood Service if you have any flu symptoms.

Moreover, donors will not be permitted to bring children or other adults with them into the donation area (unless they require assistance due to, for example, hearing impairment) as of 7 October until further notice.

Information about areas that are in the acceleration or spreading stage of the epidemic is available from Hospital Districts. The Blood Service’s infectious disease doctor and hygiene expert as well as regional managers are monitoring the epidemiological situation.