COVID-19: Héma-Québec reminds everyone of the importance of giving blood at all times
Montréal, March 16, 2020 — Héma-Québec is working actively to pursue its mission during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The health of Héma-Québec’s donors, recipients, staff and volunteers, and the safety of the blood products and other biological products it supplies, are a constant concern. This vigilance has increased even more in the current situation.
One thousand blood donations are required every day to guarantee an optimal reserve level. This is true both in normal times and during a pandemic. Currently, the main risk is maintaining a sufficient level of blood products. These products have a limited shelf life, which makes it impossible to store them.
More than ever, Héma-Québec is encouraging new and existing donors to mobilize to help it ensure an optimal supply to meet the needs of patients in hospitals, as stated today by Québec Premier François Legault.
“We want to thank the Premier for helping raise awareness for giving blood among Quebeckers” said Nathalie Fagnan, President and CEO of Héma-Québec.
Héma-Québec applies strict measures—at all times, not just during a pandemic—to ensure the safety of donors and of the blood. Anyone wishing to give blood must undergo a rigorous selection process and only healthy individuals are eligible to give blood. Héma-Québec has always asked people who have a fever or who feel unwell to not come to clinic locations.
Héma-Québec is taking additional measures to disinfect donation beds, and donors will be asked three additional questions starting on March 16, 2020. These questions will cover the situations of people who interact with a person who has or has had COVID-19, or is under investigation for it. Moreover, the protection of our staff is consistent with the measures being taken in the health and social services network.
Héma-Québec wishes to remind everyone that all of the materials used to collect blood are new, sterile, sealed and used only once. As well, before each blood donation is delivered to hospitals, it is systematically analyzed and subjected to screening tests for blood-borne diseases.
Moreover, the number of people at blood donor clinics is systematically controlled and limited to well below the 250-person threshold established on March 12, 2020.
Héma-Québec is constantly monitoring the situation with public health authorities in Quebec and Canada and will adapt its approach as the situation evolves.
Héma-Québec’s mission is to efficiently meet the needs of the Quebec population for blood and other high-quality biological products of human origin. Héma-Quebec employs more than 1,300 employees, has nearly 225,000 donors of blood, stem cells, breast milk and human tissue, and thousands of volunteers at blood drive sites. Héma-Québec delivers nearly 750,000 human-derived biological products to Quebec hospitals every year to meet the needs of patients.
Give blood. Give life.
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