Blood Donations Essential in level two
As the country starts to adjust to a less restricted life under Level 2, visitors to New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) donor centres and mobile drives will see some changes to its procedures as the Service aligns itself with the new alert level and reduction in risk, whilst continuing to keep safety at the heart of its operations.
“We want to reassure all our donors that we are taking all necessary measures to ensure our donor centres and mobile drives continue to be extremely safe places to visit. Moving into Level 2 is an extremely positive step for all of New Zealand, but it is essential that we remain vigilant and closely follow Government guidelines including physical distancing and hand hygiene,’ says Asuka Burge, New Zealand Blood Service National Marketing and Communications Manager.
“As we start to enjoy more freedoms, we are also asking people to find time in their diaries and book an appointment to donate blood over the coming weeks. Blood donations continue to be essential as we expect demand for blood and blood products to move towards pre COVID-19 levels during May and into June, as the country gets moving again, and hospitals return to a more regular schedule.”
- Current blood stock levels remain at a healthy level.
- NZBS needs to collect over 3,500 donations every week to be able to meet demand.
- No change to the additional deferrals put in place for COVID-19.
- Donor greeters at the front of donor centres will no longer be required at most centres. NZBS will continue with donor greeters at Wellington, North Shore and Manukau donor centres due to the restrictions on space inside these centres.
- Donors will be asked three COVID-19 related screening questions at reception.
- Physical distancing between donors of 1.5 - 2 metres will remain in place.
- PPE will be worn by all collection staff when in close proximity to donors.
- Additional cleaning activity will continue at all donor centres and mobile drives.
- It is essential to book an appointment. Regrettably, donors without appointments will be turned away. Appointments help manage the flow and social distancing of people in donor centres at any given time, and allows NZBS to forecast supply, ensuring it is collecting sufficient quantities of blood types and blood products.
- Donors are asked to use the NZBS app or call 0800 448 325 to find suitable available appointments and to book in May and June.
- NZBS is asking donors to let it know if they are unable to make an appointment – this allows the Service to rebook the appointment. All appointments are vitally important to maintaining the country’s blood stock levels.
- Plasma donors can donate every two weeks (appointments permitting). Those considering becoming a plasma donor should ask about it when they next donate whole blood https://www.nzblood.co.nz/give-blood/plasma/
- NZBS is advising donors over 70 years to follow Ministry of Health guidelines.
For more information on donating blood during the COVID-19 lockdown, visit https://www.nzblood.co.nz/give-blood/covid-19-updates/. Or to book an appointment to donate visit www.nzblood.co.nz or call 0800 448 325.
NZBS will continue to send out regular updates on blood stock levels during New Zealand’s COVID-19 response and lockdown periods. Please note this information is correct as of 20/05/20.
New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) is a not-for-profit Crown entity responsible for the collection, processing, testing and storage and distribution of all blood and blood products in New Zealand.
NZBS relies on voluntary and non-remunerated blood donations from individuals around the country in order to provide a constant supply of precious blood and blood products used by health services to save thousands of lives.
For more information please contact:
Asuka Burge, New Zealand Blood Service, 09 523 6486, 0272 726 437
Sandy Trigg, Network Communication, (09) 306 5811, 021 231 9406
Released on behalf of New Zealand Blood Service by Network Communication