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Blood donations from SARS areas deferred

posted on 27/04/2003: 1459 views


The Ministry of Health (MoH) is deferring blood donations from donors coming from countries affected by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) as a precautionary measure, an official said. The Department of Blood Transfusion Services at the MoH has taken a decision not to accept blood from donors arriving from SARS-affected countries on the list of the WHO, until it is ascertained that they do not carry the virus.



"Blood donors arriving from SARS-affected countries will not be accepted as donors immediately, but will be deferred for a period of two weeks from the date of their arrival to the UAE," said Dr Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Director of the Blood Transfusion Services at the MoH. Dr Al Amiri said two weeks is the time of incubation of the disease in which the symptoms reveal themselves.



Dr Al Amiri added that the latest warning by the WHO yesterday also included Toronto in the list of risk countries. Thus blood donations from there will be suspended. He said the measure will not affect the country, since the department relies on a panel of regular blood donors, the majority of whom are UAE residents and nationals. Still, they will be screened. He also outlined the precautionary measures taken to safeguard health conditions in the country.



He said the department is a member of the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) and the United States Food and Drugs Authority (FDA). It constantly updates its preventive measures according to the guidelines provided by the AABB and the FDA. To ensure the safety of blood collected from donors, Al Amiri said the department issued a circular to all UAE blood banks to enforce these measures since the beginning of the SARS outbreak at the international level. (The Gulf News)

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