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Centers in Bremen ask for blood – how do you donate during Corona?


You can also donate blood during the Corona period. Those who have recovered or have been vaccinated should, however, observe a few deadlines, says the German Red Cross in Bremen. (Symbol image)

Image: DPA | Hauke-Christian Dittrich

There is still blood. Concern grows with the summer in view. But can you donate in times of the corona virus and vaccinations? Yes – and that’s easier than many think.

Every blood donation can help save lives – the patient commissioner of the Federal Government, Claudia Schmidtke, drew attention to this on the occasion of World Blood Donation Day on Monday. The German Red Cross (DRK) in Bremen also calls for continued donation of blood and plasma. “Especially with regard to the summer holidays, so that there are no bottlenecks,” says DRK spokesman Lübbo Roewer.

But what should you watch out for when donating blood or plasma under pandemic conditions? What should recovered donors watch out for? buten un inside has summarized some questions and answers on the topic.

Are those who have recovered allowed to donate blood?
Yes, but they have to adhere to a four-week “grace period”, as Roewer explains. According to earlier information from the blood donation services, recovered plasma donors with Covid-19 antibodies could possibly even help the sick. To this end, studies are currently being carried out in various countries.

As the Robert Koch Institute recently announced in a report on Covid-19 therapies, the blood plasma of those who have recovered has not yet been approved for the treatment of Covid-19 and may only make sense at an early stage of the disease.

Are vaccinated people allowed to donate blood?
Yes, but the German Red Cross recommends a waiting time of 24 hours – as with other vaccinations. The Paul Ehrlich Institute does not prescribe a provision for the approved corona vaccines, but the donation services prefer to be a little more careful with them.

With all vaccines currently used in Germany, according to the Paul Ehrlich Institute, there is basically no need to wait until the next blood donation. However, as a precautionary measure, the DRK blood donation services recommend waiting a day before donating blood in order to rule out any vaccination reactions that may occur.

Markus Baulke, spokesman for the DRK blood donation service NSTOB

What has changed since the corona pandemic?
Donors are asked about any corona risks as early as the entrance area. Before donating blood, a fever must be measured and the hands must be disinfected. Distance and the usual hygiene rules must be observed, and mouth protection must be worn, as the DRK confirms. No negative corona test is required. And: Instead of a buffet on site, there are currently usually packed lunches.
What is the current situation in Bremen and Bremerhaven?
According to the DRK in Bremen, there are currently no real bottlenecks in the Hanseatic city, but there have been ten to 15 percent fewer donors than the average in the past few weeks. Roewer explains this with the recent corona easing. “Before that you couldn’t do anything, then you went to donate.” Since the blood reserves can be kept for a maximum of six weeks, one has to rely on a continuous supply. The upcoming summer holidays and major sporting events are therefore causing concern for the donation services.

The Red Cross in Bremerhaven observed something similar: “There was an extremely high willingness to donate during the pandemic. With the pleasing relaxation of the pandemic measures, the amount of donations has fallen sharply,” says spokesman Jürgen Engelhard. “At the moment we are approaching a bottleneck.”

The DRK blood donation service NSTOB, which is responsible for Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, Oldenburg and Bremen, sees the current situation as even more critical. There are already bottlenecks for him, since Bremen is also being supplied by other federal states. “The drug inventories were significantly reduced in June. We look to the coming weeks with a little concern. We currently have delivery bottlenecks for the first blood groups,” says the spokesman, Markus Baulke.

We had from May to mid-June [im gesamten Versorgungsgebiet, A.d.R.] a need for around 76,000 blood donations to secure supplies. There are only 70,000 blood donors. As a result, the inventory has been reduced from 13,000 to less than 8,000 blood preparations. For a safe blood supply, we need a stock of at least 10,000 preparations.

Markus Baulke, spokesman for the DRK blood donation service NSTOB

As Roewer reports, around 1,500 blood donations are required in Bremen and northern Lower Saxony every day.

This is how the number of blood donors in the city of Bremen has developed

Has the pandemic affected the need and number of donations?
For the city of Bremen, the number of donors in 2020 was almost as high as in 2019, i.e. before the pandemic. In both years it was over 12,500. “We have very loyal blood donors in Bremen,” says Roewer as the reason. Compared to five years ago, the number has even increased (from 10,341 to 12,557). Around 17 percent are first-time donors and almost half are under 40 years of age. In Bremerhaven, donation appointments could not take place in many of the existing donation rooms due to the high hygiene regulations during the pandemic, reports Jürgen Engelhard. However, a particularly large number of donors came to the few appointments.

“The lockdown phases were characterized by an outstanding willingness to donate. This way, we were also able to ensure the hospital’s increased need for blood preparations at all times,” confirms Baulke. The private plasma donation center CSL Plasma, on the other hand, reports “still bottlenecks due to the measures relating to Corona”. Because of the minimum distance, not all available machines can be operated, which reduces the amount of collected plasma.

More on the subject:

This topic in the program:
Bremen Eins, Der Tag, June 16, 2021, 11:30 p.m.

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