PETALING JAYA: The National Blood Centre appeals to the public to urgently donate blood, as the Covid-19 outbreak has caused a reduction in the number of donors.
National Blood Centre director Dr Noryati Abu Amin said that the movement control order (MCO) had understandably led to blood donation activities being affected, with scheduled donation campaigns cancelled.
She said that blood donations were mostly being carried out at fixed donation sites for the centre as well as in the respective state and district hospital Blood Banks.
She said that while the centre had adequate blood stock and was able to supply hospitals for urgent transfusions, the stock in other blood banks may not be as good as at the centre.
“In order to maintain a safe, sufficient and accessible blood supply in the face of widespread disease, blood donors are requested to come forward and donate regularly at our centres or the nearest state or district hospital blood banks to ensure the continuous supply to meet transfusion needs of patients in the hospitals, ” she told The Star.
“Blood has a short shelf life and must be continually replenished. Blood donors must be healthy, feeling well and free of respiratory illness symptoms to be eligible to donate, ” she added.
Dr Noryati said that blood donation services nationwide are still operating as usual during the MCO as blood transfusion is one of the essential services under the Health Ministry.
“Donating blood is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give blood. Blood donors are not at risk of contracting Covid-19 through the blood donation process
“Similarly, no cases of transfusion-transmission were ever reported for the other two coronaviruses that emerged during the past two decades (SARS and MERS-CoV), ” she said, adding that blood donation is a medical procedure done in accordance with strict infection control precautions.
She added that routine blood donor screening measures that are already in place are designed to prevent individuals with respiratory and other infections from donating blood.
Dr Noryati also said they have implemented additional precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in their premises to ensure safety of donors and staff
“Only healthy donors without any symptoms of cough, fever, flu or difficulty in breathing, as well as no travel history to countries such as China, Korea, Japan, Italy or Iran within the last 28 days can donate.
“Donors should not have any close contact with any individual found positive for COVID-19 within the last 28 days.
"Donors who have recovered from COVID-19 infection can donate blood 28 days after complete recovery, ” she said.
Prospective donors are welcomed to donate at:
Pusat Darah Negara Jalan Tun Razak
Saturday & Sunday: 8am to 6pm
Pusat Darah Negara Donation Suite, Midvalley Mall
Puspanita Donation Suite, Presint 10, Putrajaya
Saturday & Sunday: 9am to 6pm
Further information, including fixed donation sites in other states, can be found at the Pusat Darah Negara website, www.pdn.gov.my, as well as on the PDN Facebook page.
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