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Transfus Clin Biol ; 28(1): 16-24, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1060273


BACKGROUND: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spurred a global health crisis. The safety and supply of blood during this pandemic has been a concern of blood banks and transfusion services as it is expected to adversely affect blood system activities. We aim to assess the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) during the first months of the pandemic. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A survey was designed to address blood supply, transfusion demand, and donor management during the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic. Medical directors of different blood banks were invited to participate. RESULTS: A total of 16 centers participated with representation from 15/19 countries in the region. In total, 75% were from national blood banks. Most centres had a decrease in the blood supply, ranging from 26-50%. Representatives from 14 countries (93.3%) believed that public fear has contributed to a decrease in donations. Most centres (n=12, 75%) had a reduction in transfusion demand, while those who did not, reported heavy involvement in treating patients with underlying haemoglobinopathies and haematological malignancies. Half of the centres activated their contingency plans. Four centres had to alter the blood donor eligibility criteria to meet demands. All centres implemented donor deferral criteria in relation to SARS-CoV-2, but were variable in measures to mitigate the risk of donor and staff exposure. CONCLUSION: Blood services in the region faced variable degrees of blood shortages. We summarize lessons learnt during this pandemic for the blood banks to consider to plan, assess, and respond proportionately to future similar pandemics.

Blood Banks/statistics & numerical data , Blood Donors/supply & distribution , Blood Transfusion/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Africa, Northern , Blood Banks/organization & administration , Blood Donors/psychology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Donor Selection/standards , Health Care Surveys , Hematologic Neoplasms/therapy , Hemoglobinopathies/therapy , Humans , Infection Control/organization & administration , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Infectious Disease Transmission, Professional-to-Patient/prevention & control , Mediterranean Region , Middle East , Pakistan , Professional-Patient Relations
Lancet Haematol ; 7(10): e756-e764, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-624236


The COVID-19 pandemic has major implications for blood transfusion. There are uncertain patterns of demand, and transfusion institutions need to plan for reductions in donations and loss of crucial staff because of sickness and public health restrictions. We systematically searched for relevant studies addressing the transfusion chain-from donor, through collection and processing, to patients-to provide a synthesis of the published literature and guidance during times of potential or actual shortage. A reduction in donor numbers has largely been matched by reductions in demand for transfusion. Contingency planning includes prioritisation policies for patients in the event of predicted shortage. A range of strategies maintain ongoing equitable access to blood for transfusion during the pandemic, in addition to providing new therapies such as convalescent plasma. Sharing experience and developing expert consensus on the basis of evolving publications will help transfusion services and hospitals in countries at different stages in the pandemic.

Betacoronavirus , Blood Banks/statistics & numerical data , Blood Donors/supply & distribution , Blood Transfusion , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , Blood Coagulation Disorders/etiology , Blood Coagulation Disorders/therapy , Blood Preservation , Blood Safety , Blood Transfusion/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Donor Selection , Elective Surgical Procedures , Health Care Rationing , Health Policy , Health Services Needs and Demand , Hemoglobinopathies/complications , Hemoglobinopathies/therapy , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2