DOH: Blood donors no longer need to undergo RT-PCR test
MANILA, Philippines — An RT-PCR COVID-19 test is no longer needed for those who wish to donate blood, the Department of Health (DOH) said Tuesday as it reported a decline in blood donations amid the pandemic.
During the Laging Handa briefing, DOH National Voluntary Blood Services Program manager Marites Estrella said that based on their policies, RT-PCR tests are not required for those who wish to donate blood.
The DOH official said that pre-screening is conducted even before blood donors go to blood banks.
“Hindi na natin kailangan ng RT-PCR test para mag-donate ng dugo kasi unang-una, ang mga nagdo-donate ng dugo ay yung mga healthy individuals lang… Sinasala na natin,” Estrella said.
(We no longer need RT-PCR test for anyone who wants to donate blood because first of all, those who wish to donate blood are healthy individuals only… we have screening for that.)
“Of course yung health protocols natin kung ano yung mga symptoms ng COVID-19 at exposure nila, tinatanong na rin natin dyan [but our health protocols, whatever symptoms of COVID-19 and their possible exposure, we are asking them],” she added.
There are also donor recruitment campaigns informing the public on who can donate blood, said Estrella.
Estrella said blood donations declined by 22 percent in 2020 following the imposition of lockdowns in different areas in the country to address the pandemic.
“Critical po ba o bumaba ba ang collection natin ng dugo? Bumaba ang collection natin ng dugo mula po noong mayroon tayong lockdowns at mayroon tayong mga restrictions,” Estrella said.
(Is it critical or our blood collections declined? Our collection of blood declined since the start of lockdown and we have restrictions.)
To address this, Estrella said the DOH has adjusted its policies through a blood services network wherein the Philippine Red Cross, hospitals, and local government units can coordinate regarding their blood supplies.
“Kung wala tayong Type A don są isang ospital ay mayroon maraming Type A doon sa pangalawang hospital, yun ay nagsh-share sila para matugunan ang pangangailangan ng ating mga pasyente sa kanilang transfusion ng dugo bawat araw,” Estrella said.
(If we don’t have Type A in a hospital and there are plenty of Type A in another hospital, that hospital shares supply to address the needs of our patients in their blood transfusion each day.)
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