The Western Cape Blood Service (WCBS) would like to assure blood donors that donating blood is safe and that employees and blood donors remain our top priorities. The WCBS has therefore introduced further precautionary measures to ensure the safety of blood donors and employees as the situation with the COVID-19 outbreak continues to develop.
All WCBS staff have been issued with personal alcohol-based hand sanitisers, and communal hand sanitisers are also available throughout the Service’s premises and at all blood donation clinics. All surfaces and equipment at blood donation clinics are regularly sanitised. In addition, all WCBS staff have also been issued with personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks, as well as face visors for those in closest contact with blood donors. All blood donors are required to wear a face mask when donating blood, and are pre-screened for risk of COVID-19 by WCBS staff before entering blood donation clinics. Social distancing is assured by queue control, reducing the amount of beds in clinics, and limiting the number of blood donors at any given time.
These precautionary steps comply with all of the requirements of the evolving legislation, as well as best-practice guidelines of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases and international blood transfusion authorities. “The safety of staff, blood donors and blood recipients have always been our main priorities and the Service has implemented stringent hygiene and precautionary measures since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure their ongoing safety”, says Dr Gregory Bellairs, CEO and Medical Director at the WCBS.
The WCBS would like to reiterate that it remains crucial that we continue to supply the Western Cape with sufficient, safe blood during these extremely challenging times. The Service urges new and regular donors who belong to all blood groups to donate blood. If you are older than 16 and younger than 75, weigh 50 kg or more, you are healthy on the day of donation and lead a safe sexual lifestyle you can be a blood donor. To find out where you can donate visit www.wcbs.org.za or call 021 507 6300. “The Service, on behalf of its patients, would like to convey its heartfelt thanks to the many loyal blood donors who have selflessly donated blood over the lockdown period”, says Michelle Vermeulen, the Promotions, Public Relations and Planning Manager at WCBS.