Coronavirus update

27 May 2020

Lifeblood’s top priority is the safety of our donors, staff, volunteers and, of course, blood recipients.

With restrictions to non-essential activities easing across the country, it’s important to remember that blood and plasma donation remains absolutely vital. Despite the challenges of recent months, we’ve had an overwhelming response from our donors who have continued to donate blood and plasma and we urge them to continue donating throughout the winter period. The only exception to this is our generous donors aged 70 and over who are still being advised to stay at home and self-isolate for their own protection.

In an Australian-first, we are also now collecting convalescent plasma in a bid to help the fight against COVID-19. 

Convalescent plasma is the liquid part of blood that contains antibodies. When someone recovers from COVID-19, the virus antibodies stay in their plasma.

Plasma collected from people who have recovered from COVID-19 is being used in clinical trials, both as a form of direct treatment and as a medication called COVID-19 Immunoglobulin, which may provide passive immunity.

Convalescent plasma can only be donated by someone with a confirmed laboratory diagnosis of COVID-19, who has fully recovered from the virus and been symptom-free for at least 28 days. It’s important to note there are no confirmed reports of coronavirus being transmitted by blood transfusion anywhere in the world, and our strict screening process means we don’t allow people who are unwell to donate blood. 

We want to reassure all donors that our donor centres are safe places to visit and we are taking all necessary steps to ensure that stays the case. 

We've put together a list of frequently asked questions where you can find out about all the measures we’re taking to keep our centres safe, what new blood donation rules we’ve introduced, and how you can best follow public health advice. 

If you still have a question you need help with, please call us on 13 14 95.

For more on coronavirus, visit the Australian Department of Health website

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