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FDA addresses blood donation and face mask questions during pandemic

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Monday, April 13, 2020 (Health Day News)-Is it safe to donate blood during a Coronavirus pandemic? Does a cloth face mask provide meaningful protection against COVID-19?

According to the US Food and Drug Administration, these are among the questions Americans are asking, and agencies have provided some answers.

According to the FDA, many steps have been taken to protect the country’s blood supply. Blood donors must be healthy and fit on the day of the donation. Regular donor screening should prevent people with respiratory infections from donating blood.

However, if you don’t feel well after donating blood, the donor should contact the blood donation center and instruct them not to use blood or plasma. In a news release, the FDA said no cases of COVID-19 were associated with blood or products made from blood collected from donors who developed COVID-19 after donating blood.

And giving blood is one way you can help during this public health emergency. If you want to donate blood for health, please contact your local donation center to make an appointment.

According to the FDA, there is another way you might be able to help-by donating convalescent plasma. Scientists are investigating its use to treat COVID-19.

Convalescent plasma is the liquid portion of blood recovered from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies to the virus in their blood.

The FDA noted that COVID-19 convalescent plasma could only be collected if the recovered patient donated blood and was eligible to meet other requirements. Check with your local blood center.

Many people are also wondering if they need to wear a face mask when going out.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing cloth covers in public places where it is difficult to maintain social distance, such as in grocery stores and drug stores. The goal is to slow the spread of the coronavirus and prevent others who may be infected with the virus from transmitting it to others.

For more information

The American Red Cross Coronavirus and blood donation.

Source: US Food and Drug Administration, News Release, April 8, 2020

Robert Pleit

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