Inova Blood Donor Services and COVID-19 Precautions
With the reintroduction of elective surgeries, Inova Blood Donor Services is preparing for a steady increase in patient need and greatly appreciates your support in helping to serve our community. The need for blood is continual and the supply changes daily depending on collections and patient needs. Additionally, donated blood has a shelf life of 42 days and donated platelets have a shelf life of 5 days.
Inova Blood Donor Services needs donors to sign up now for an appointment to donate blood during the next six weeks at a Donor Center location. With community support over the coming weeks, we can work together to continue to maintain a safe, pure, potent and steady blood supply.
Here’s how you can help Inova Blood Donor Services if you are feeling healthy and well:
- If you have scheduled an appointment to donate blood, please keep it. We cannot accept walk ins at this time, due to social distancing precautions.
- If you want to make an appointment to donate blood, please make an appointment in the future.
We appreciate the outpouring of support from the community. Please know that we will be relying on you to help us maintain a safe, pure, potent and steady supply of blood for patients now and in the weeks ahead. The need for blood never goes away.
Inova Blood Donor Services and COVID-19 Precautions
All of our Team Members are informed of updates to Universal Precautions and updated as recommendations change with regard to COVID-19. As recommendations by our accrediting agency, AABB, and directives from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration continue to be given; our teams receive the directives and updated training to ensure they are keeping our donors safe during their donation process.
Our three Donor Centers are professionally cleaned with qualified and approved cleaning and disinfectant products on a daily basis. Additionally, our Team is taking extra precautions at all times to maintain a clean and safe environment for both our donors and ourselves.
Below are health & safety items we adhere to and will continue to ensure Donor and Team Member Safety:
- Additional hand sanitizing stations have been placed in our Donor Centers for use by Team Members and Donors
- Continued use of disposable gloves when performing blood donation tasks
- Continued use of single use supplies including disposable gloves, lancets, needles and blood bags
- Continued hand sanitizing by Team Members during the donation process
- Donor beds, chairs and other surfaces are wiped down after each use so it is clean for the next donors
- We have spaced out the chairs in our waiting areas and donation areas to allow for social distancing
- All staff have been educated and re-trained on surface contamination, approved materials for sanitation, and how to properly dispose of disinfectant agents
- New as of 3/26/20: All staff in clinical areas will be wearing masks
- New as of 3/26/20: Staff temperatures are taken twice per day, at the beginning and middle of their shift
- New as of 3/26/20: Donor Center schedules have been reduced to facilitate social distancing
- New as of 5/1/20: All donors must wear a face covering at their appointment to donate
- New as of 1/28/21: All successful blood donations made before February 28, 2021 will be tested for the COVID-19 antibody. This test will be performed in addition to the standard testing on all blood donations received. This test is for detecting the presence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 and is not intended for diagnosis or treatment of COVID-19. Results will be provided 7 days after donation.
- New as of 3/1/21: Blood donations made on or after March 1, 2021 will NOT be tested for the COVID-19 antibody. With the increase in donors receiving the COVID-19 vaccination, the antibody testing for all blood donations will sunset as of February 28, 2021. People who receive the COVID-19 vaccination will show antibodies for COVID-19 in their blood, so the value of the antibody test will not be as critical.
- New as of 3/1/21: As of 3/12/21, Inova Blood Donor Services will no longer collect convalescent plasma for patients in need, due to new treatments being implemented over the course of the pandemic. Convalescent plasma was useful while the treatments were being developed, and now it is not needed.
- New as of 5/14/21: Inova Health System and Inova Blood Donor Services masking policies will remain in effect. All visitors, patients, team members, and blood donors within an Inova facility or care site must continue to wear masks. Per the CDC's guidance for Healthcare Infection Control After Vaccination, all visitors in a healthcare facility or care site should continue to wear a mask, regardless of their vaccination status.
We appreciate all that our donors and Team Members do for our patients and our community. Our purpose is to keep our donors safe and healthy to ensure a safe, pure, potent and adequate blood supply for our community.
Increased Blood Donor Screening Measures for COVID-19 Precautions
- As a reminder, you may only donate blood if you are feeling healthy and well on the day of the donation
- Click here to review updated deferral information for travel-related deferrals
COVID-19 Vaccine Blood Donation Eligibility FAQ
Question – Which COVID-19 vaccines are acceptable for blood donation?
Answer - Currently, the only acceptable COVID vaccines for blood donation are those that have been FDA approved and those that have received “Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) approval.
Effective, August 23, 2021, the Pfizer vaccine has received full FDA approval.
Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are approved by the FDA as Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
At this time, if you have received any vaccine other than the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, this will be considered an investigational vaccine and will require a 12 month deferral for blood donation.
Question - If I have received the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine may I donate blood?
Answer - If you have received the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, you may donate blood immediately, provided that you are symptom free.