How do COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, lockdowns, travel restrictions, overloaded hospitals, etc. impact the donation process?
Blood cancer patients around the world are still in urgent need of blood stem cell transplants and many are still not able to find a matching donor. This is why DKMS continues to encourage everyone that is able to, to register as a blood stem cell donor.
Due to lockdown and/or stay-at-home-orders, we have implemented alternative measures for the donation process to avoid for example blood collections at a general physician. The risk of transmission during the journey to the collection center on the day of donation can be reduced to a minimum. Instead of taking public transport, DKMS recommends a private/rental car or a taxi in order to get to the collection center. The collection centers have implemented additional precautionary measures, such as screenings for COVID-19 virus risks, to protect donors and employees. The majority of blood stem cell collections from DKMS donors travel across borders to patients in other countries. Due to the travel restrictions imposed by many countries, we are in regular and close contact with all parties involved in the transport, as well as with the relevant national and international authorities and organizations. Despite the added difficulties that we are facing at the moment, as always we are determined to overcome all barriers in order to provide as many patients as possible with a second chance at life. Because of the current situation, planned stem cell donations might be postponed or even canceled. We kindly ask for your understanding and will keep you informed about any new developments.