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Donors urged to keep giving blood

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The Department of Health and Social Care is urging people to keep giving blood as normal during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sessions are continuing during April in order to maintain supplies, with enhanced safety measures in place to protect donors and staff.

Donors who are staying at home and practising social distancing are permitted to visit the Jubilee Suite at the Old Noble’s Hospital on Ballakermeen Road in Douglas. Giving blood is classed as essential travel because it helps to meet the needs of vulnerable people.

Donations are needed to treat patients in a range of situations, including those involved in accidents and women who experience complications during pregnancy.

Scientific research indicates that there is no evidence of coronavirus being transmitted through blood donation.

Donors in the Island are being encouraged to keep their appointments and continue to play their part in saving lives and maintaining the health of the nation.

It is important for donors to attend at their allotted appointment times, as turning up too early can cause problems with social distancing.

Enhanced hygiene protocols are in place at the Jubilee Suite, including additional triage assessment, handwashing and cleaning of surfaces, while waiting areas are set up to reduce queues and adhere to the two-metre distancing rules.

Only those who are well and do not present with any coronavirus risk factors will be invited to enter the donor area to give blood.

Health and Social Care Minister David Ashford MHK said:

‘Giving blood saves lives and it is vital to ensure that donations continue. We appreciate there may be some concern or reluctance during the current situation, but we can reassure people that the safety of donors and staff is always our number one priority. Also, people will not be breaking any stay-at-home rules by travelling to blood donor sessions.’

The Minister added: ‘The Isle of Man is fortunate to have such an amazing group of blood donors. We want to thank all those who are continuing to step up and offer their support during these difficult times. We need donors in the Island who are fit and healthy to keep their appointments, keep giving blood and keep saving lives.’

For further information contact +44 1624 650637 or visit the Giving Blood pages of the Government website.