Are you considering donating blood? Not sure if you’re able to donate if you’ve had Covid-19 or been jabbed? We answer your questions on giving blood during the pandemic.
Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) aims to maintain at least six days of stock at any time to meet the requirements of patients in Scotland.
Dr Sylvia Armstrong-Fisher, clinical scientist at SNBTS, said blood donation is essential throughout the year, and the service does notice a dip in attendance during the holidays.
“But we would always say: please, make the effort.
“If you haven’t donated ever before, I would encourage you to come along. You would be made most welcome.
“It’s an exceptionally safe donating experience.”
We need you to make an extra special effort to #GiveBlood in the coming days and weeks. The good weather, lockdown easing and the school holidays, mean we really need donors with the blood group A and O. Book your appointment at https://t.co/Im2ssUNx9r pic.twitter.com/Ywdz54A0dL
— SNBTS-Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (@givebloodscot) July 27, 2021
Can I donate blood if I’ve had Covid?
You must not donate if you have Covid-19, are self-isolating with symptoms of possible Covid-19 or are well, but are self-isolating because other members of your household have possible Covid-19 symptoms.
If you have shown symptoms of Covid-19 or tested positive, you must not donate until at least 28 days after the final symptoms have ceased.
If you were self-isolating, for example, because other household members were sick or following travel, but you remained symptom-free yourself, you must not donate until 14 days after your first day of self-isolation.
As always, you can check the usual donor eligibility criteria through the SNBTS’ Can I give blood? quiz.
What if I’ve been vaccinated?
SNBTS advises people who have been vaccinated to book their appointment to donate eight days after receiving the jab.
You must also be recovered from any reactions you may have had to the vaccine.
If the vaccine was part of a clinical trial, you might have to wait longer, but get in touch with SNBTS to find out more.
Blood donations before the vaccination appointment are also deemed safe, and the service encouraged people not to delay their vaccines in order to give blood.
What Covid-19 safety practices are in place to give blood?
In Scotland, you must make an appointment to give blood and you will be asked to arrive alone (or with a household member who is also donating).
This is so centres can uphold social distancing restrictions.
Donors must wear their wear masks at all times throughout the session. They must only be removed for health checks and while donating.
Arrive no earlier than five minutes before your time slot, as it helps reduce queues, and your temperature will then be taken.
Dr Amstrong-Fisher added: “We triage, we have PPE in place, and only fit and well donors.
“We ensure that that happens, that only fit and well donors attend for appointment-only – we don’t have drop-ins.
“But we need people to be donating and replenishing our blood stocks on a daily basis.
“So please, we will make you most welcome, and it will be a very safe experience for you.”
Check scotblood.co.uk for more details and information on how to donate.