COVID-19 resources for health-care professionals
Thursday, June 25, 2020 Dr. Geraldine Walsh
As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, being well informed has perhaps never been more important. For health-care professionals in particular, keeping pace with information related to COVID-19, which can change rapidly, is critical in helping them best serve their patients.
To support Canadian transfusion medicine health-care professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve created a repository of information on the Canadian Blood Services’ professional education website. You’ll find resources on blood product conservation practices during COVID-19, information about the treatment of COVID-19 patients with intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) and convalescent plasma, and much more.
Earlier in the pandemic, health-care workers who handle fresh blood components from Canadian Blood Services (i.e., red blood cells, platelets, plasma) were in touch with questions about whether accidental exposure to these products puts them at risk for COVID-19. In response, we published an FAQ for health professionals working with blood products during the pandemic. This FAQ summarizes the evidence-to-date, which continues to support the view that there is no risk of SARS-CoV-2 virus transmission by handling blood or blood products. Indeed, the scientific evidence gathered so far supports the view that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, like other respiratory viruses, is not transfusion-transmitted. The FAQ also provides guidance on how shipping containers and blood bags can be cleaned as well as links to related guidance documents.
We encourage health-care professionals to check out these resources and share them with colleagues. Keep checking back – the resources will be updated regularly as new information is available. And please, if there are resources you think might be worth sharing on the Professional Education site, let us know by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission via blood, read our R.E.D. post: Why you won’t get COVID-19 from a blood transfusion.
In addition, the public and donors can learn more about how Canadian Blood Services is responding to COVID-19 by visiting blood.ca/covid-19.
Canadian Blood Services – Driving world-class innovation
Through discovery, development and applied research, Canadian Blood Services drives world-class innovation in blood transfusion, cellular therapy and transplantation—bringing clarity and insight to an increasingly complex healthcare future. Our dedicated research team and extended network of partners engage in exploratory and applied research to create new knowledge, inform and enhance best practices, contribute to the development of new services and technologies, and build capacity through training and collaboration. Find out more about our research impact.
The opinions reflected in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Canadian Blood Services nor do they reflect the views of Health Canada or any other funding agency.
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“There is absolutely no evidence of transfusion transmission for COVID-19, or any other coronavirus,” says Dr. Steven Drews, associate director of microbiology at Canadian Blood Services.
Knowledge dissemination is a vital step needed for research to be translated into new applications and improved processes. Through our Centre for Innovation, Canadian Blood Services conducts and supports research related to transfusion medicine and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. KnowledgeInfusion webinars disseminate our research findings to Canadian Blood Services staff, helping them learn about exciting new discoveries and understand how they can be applied to address the organization’s challenges. The presentations are also recorded and shared on our Professional Education website to reach a broader audience.
Call for applications! Research funding to optimize blood product use and to train next-generation researchers
The 2020 competitions for two of the Centre for Innovation’s most important and impactful research and training funding programs are now open. The Blood Efficiency Accelerator Program supports projects that improve the use of blood products. The Postdoctoral Fellowship Program offers salary support for young investigators undertaking full-time research training in a Canadian research laboratory affiliated with Canadian Blood Services.