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Blood Products Management and Safety During COVID-19: a Public Health Challenge by Saleh M. Abdullah

Background: Blood products are essential therapeutics that are pivotal in saving and improving millions of lives worldwide. A sufficient and safe blood supply is necessary for efficient healthcare services to provide effective patient care in various acute and chronic conditions. Blood donations are the main source of blood products in almost all nations of the world. The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic negatively impacted blood product management worldwide and has added stress to the already stressed healthcare system. Most of the earlier months of 2020 witnessed a decrease in blood donations as donors were highly apprehensive about their safety, and the isolation practices implemented to contain the virus spread discouraged donor participation. Because of the spread of the virus, blood collection centers and regulatory bodies have undertaken numerous strategic steps to prevent any viral transmission at the blood collection centers while aiming to increase donor participation. Maintaining extra sterilization in all the processes involved in blood product management and the modified criteria for participating donors changed the entire paradigm of blood product management. This review discusses various challenges and modifications adopted by different roles of participants involved in blood product availability to maintain an adequate and safe blood supply during the emerging COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: An extensive online search was done to obtain the necessary information regarding various scenarios concerning blood product crises, advisories, and availability.
Results: A change in how the blood supply chain works that has overcome and prevented a crisis in blood demand and supply during the COVID-19 pandemic world over was observed.
Conclusions: Blood products are critical for medical and surgical procedures. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a crisis in the availability of blood products with decreased participation of donors. It has become the prime re-sponsibility of the blood collection centers and government agencies to change strategies, so that blood stocks do not become exhausted and create another crisis.

DOI: 10.7754/Clin.Lab.2021.211123