Covid-19 / Coronavirus
IBTS continues to apply COVID-19 measures on clinic to ensure donor and staff safety
As a frontline essential service, it is vital that the IBTS continues to collect enough blood and platelets to maintain the supplies to our hospitals during the Covid-19 situation. Hospital demand is now back at higher than Pre Covid levels so it is important our donation clinics collect enough blood each week.
In keeping with public health guidelines the IBTS will work to constantly ensure that our staff, donors and patients are kept as safe as possible.
Possible Changes to Venues
During Covid19 we may need to alter the locations of planned donation clinics due to the unavailability of our normal venues. If this happens, we will ask you to attend an alternative clinic that is reasonably close to you. We appreciate this might be inconvenient for some donors, but encourage you to attend your local clinics in these different venues. We would like to remind all donors that our fixed centre clinics in D’Olier Street, Stillorgan, and St Finbarrs Cork, will operate as normal, as will our Apheresis clinics.
During Covid-19, some donors may not be able to give blood
Donors aged 70 and over
Donors over 70/plus must have a GP letter stating fitness to donate (this needs to be renewed annually) have donated within the last 2 years and are otherwise eligible.
Donors who have had Covid or contact with someone who has had Covid
You can donate 7 days after having Covid-19 once you are fully recovered and asymptomatic. You can now attend even if you have a mild residual cough. You will be asked questions on clinic to ensure you are fully recovered and fit to donate. Please call our donor helpline if you were seriously ill or hospitalized
Donors who were treated in hospital, who have now fully recovered from Covid-19 will need to provide a letter from their GP before they can donate.
- You can donate if you are in contact with Covid-19 once you are well and asymptomatic. If you donate, please contact the IBTS if you are given a positive test result within 5 days of donating
Donors who have had a HPRA approved Covid-19 vaccination such as the Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson/Janssen or Astra Zeneca vaccines, must wait 48 hours after receiving the vaccine (any dose, including boosters) before they can donate, so long as they are feeling well and asymptomatic.
As with all vaccines there are different deferral periods from when you are vaccinated, click here for more information on deferral periods for other vaccines. The deferral period takes into consideration the type of vaccine (live or non-live) and allows enough time for the donor to be recovered from side-effects before donating. Deferrals for ‘live’ vaccines are longer than for ‘non-live’ to allow time to elapse so that the vaccine is not transmitted to the patient in the donated blood.
Most Healthcare workers can donate
Yes you can donate if you are a health care worker, even if you are in contact with covid-19, once you are well.
If you donate, please contact the IBTS if you are given a positive test result within 5 days of donating.
First Time or Returning donors (5 years since last donation)
It is vital that we have New and Returning donors to support our existing donor panel. Before contacting us, you should check your eligibility as many people are unable to give blood temporarily or permanently due to measures put in place to protect immune system depressed patients who might receive your blood.
Please do not attend an IBTS clinic if you have any of the following symptoms (whether you have travelled to an affected area or not):
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath / difficulty breathing
- Any other respiratory symptoms
- You can now attend even if you have a mild residual cough. You will be asked questions on clinic to ensure you are fully recovered and fit to donate. Please call our donor helpline if you were seriously ill or hospitalized.
Please check your eligibility to donate before attending a clinic to avoid disappointment. For more information on eligibility click here.
Ensuring our clinics remain a safe place to give blood
In addition, we have introduced the following measures to keep our donors and staff safe:
- On arrival to a clinic, you will be met at the door and will be asked questions about your health and travel history.
- If you have any symptoms of Covid-19, (aside from being fully recovered with a mild cough) you will not be allowed to enter the clinic and you must be fully recovered for at least 7 days before you can donate.
- Hand gel is provided and all donors must use it.
- All relevant surfaces in our clinics are cleaned frequently with approved disinfectant.
- Only donors will be able to access the donation area. Please note, in the interest of safety of staff and other donors, children under the age of 18 will not be able to enter the donation clinic.
- Medical-grade (surgical) face masks are mandatory – Donors must wear medical -grade face masks on clinic with the exception of pre and post donation hydration. Other face coverings, such as visors and snoods, will not be accepted, this is in the interest of public health. Only exception to this is if a donor cannot wear a surgical mask for health reasons e.g. allergic to latex. This is a safety measure to protect donors and staff from Covid-19. Medical-grade masks are more effective in preventing the transmission of coronavirus. This is important as the newer variants of coronavirus are more infectious. A mask will be offered to all donors who are wearing a face covering when they attend clinic. Hand sanitisers are available in clinic to use before and after mask removal/replacement. IBTS staff will be wearing masks throughout the process.
There is no evidence that Covid-19 has been transmitted by blood transfusion. All of the above measures have been implemented to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19 between donors and our staff.
All staff in the Irish Blood Transfusion Service would like to thank all our donors for their continued support.