Some members of the community may be concerned about the potential transmission of the COVID-19 virus through blood products, such as through blood transfusions. COVID-19 is a respiratory virus which thrives on airway secretions rather than in the blood. Therefore the risk of acquiring COVID-19 from blood transfusions is very low unless the blood donation occurred when you were acutely unwell. Normal pre-donation screening questions for illness would make you ineligible to donate.

Advice from the Australian Red Cross is that the usual post donation screening of blood products continues. However, measures to ensure that those receiving transfusions are protected from COVID-19 include: a 28-day donation postponement for donors who have recently returned from overseas and those who have been in contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus. Measures to ensure that those donating blood are protected include: increased disinfection of centres, ceasing the use of handgrips for donors while donating and restrictions on non-donating visitors.

Perth Blood Institute follows strict protocols to protect staff and patients when receiving blood products and taking blood samples.

My message to you is – if you rely on blood products, you should feel confident to continue to receive them as they are life saving. If you are considering to be or are a regular blood donor and you are fit and well, it is vital in these troubled times that you continue to donate blood.

 If you have any questions or concerns please contact us

Professor Ross Baker