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Pandemic and donation: problems, tasks, and conclusions

On February 10, 2021, a communication platform “Blood Donation and COVID-19. Lessons from the pandemic”.

The main topic for discussion was the peculiarities of blood donation organizations in the regions of Russia in 2020 and the practice of participants in the donor movement during a pandemic.

“In Russia, all medical organizations were fully provided with blood components. But it was difficult. In April 2020, against the background of the pandemic, there was a decrease in donor activity, the number of donations, in some regions - up to 50% compared to 2019. However, thanks to the well-managed work of all participants in the blood donation institute, the situation began to level out and was stable at the end of the year. In general, in 2020, the number of donations decreased by less than 14% in 67 regions, and by more than 50% in only 3” - Tatyana Gaponova, chief freelance transfusion specialist of the Russian Ministry of Health, emphasized in her speech.

In the Far Eastern Federal District - a large territory of Russia with the lowest population density - it was possible to organize work in such a way as to avoid a shortage of donor blood. In 2020, the procurement of whole blood decreased by 6.3%. To retain donors, work with the media was intensified, and field campaigns were resumed at the earliest opportunity. Also, the Khabarovsk Territory was helped by the resources of the social project #ДОНОРСТВОКРОВИРОССИИ by the National Fund for Health Development, of which the region was a member in 2020.

In the North Caucasus Federal District, the situation was very uneven: for example, the number of donors increased by 2% in the Chechen Republic in 2020 and it decreased by 22% in Karachay-Cherkessia. In the Stavropol Territory, difficulties arose with the provision of medical institutions in Pyatigorsk, which was completely quarantined. Therefore, the delivery of blood components from Stavropol was organized. Significant assistance in resolving a difficult situation was provided by special support for donation at the level of authorities, including the personal example of the Governor of the Stavropol Territory, Vladimir Vladimirov, who regularly donates blood himself. In general, in the North Caucasus Federal District, it was possible to keep the situation under control and avoid interruptions in blood supply.

During the pandemic, megacities were in the area of special attention. For example, in St. Petersburg, an emphasis was placed on human donors and the expansion of the work of volunteers, the work of an “understudy” of the donor recruitment department was organized, mobile teams strengthened their work in the central unit of the blood transfusion station. Also, informational and advisory work in social networks intensified: more than 30,000 people watched regular live broadcasts of the St. Petersburg Blood Service on donation issues on Instagram and VKontakte, and about 6,000 dialogues were held monthly in social networks and messengers. In general, in 2020, the number of donors in St. Petersburg increased by 3.8% compared to 2019.

“The participants of the event asked more than 100 questions on the organization of donation during the pandemic. The exchange of regional practices will continue during a series of communication platforms of the NFRZ (National Health Fund) social project "Blood Donation and COVID-19" during 2021. Proposals will also be formed to prevent the emergence of negative scenarios of blood donation" - Elena Stefanyuk says, the Director of the National Health Fund, Deputy Chairman Coordinating Council for Blood Donation at the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation.

A large number of questions were related to the procurement of plasma from donors who have recovered from coronavirus infection, the timing of the continuation of donation after illness, after vaccination, the effectiveness of plasma transfusion in the treatment of COVID-19.

After vaccination against COVID-19, you can donate blood and its components 120 calendar days after the last phase. If the donor has been ill with COVID-19 in a mild form, without hospitalization, he can return to donor activities 30 calendar days after complete recovery.

“In 2020, procurement of antique plasma was carried out by 81 institutions of the Blood Service in 53 constituent entities of the Russian Federation, including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Stavropol Territory - regions participating in the NFRZ social project “Blood Donation and COVID-19”. At the same time, there was a good tolerance to therapy with anti-COVID plasma, side effects were rare and mild. However, for patients with severe respiratory failure, the use of anti-COVID plasma and the effectiveness of such therapy is rather limited. In general, the use of anti-COVID plasma can be considered the simplest and most effective means of treating severe forms of COVID-19” Olga Eichler said, head of the medical support department for conversion and extreme work and the blood service of the FMBA of Russia.

The discussion of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, its impact on the donation of blood and its components, and measures to overcome and prevent a decrease in donor activity for various reasons, including due to an unfavorable epidemiological situation, will be continued at a series of communication platforms of the NFRH social project " Blood donation and COVID-19 "during 2021. Questions and answers from already passed communication platforms are published in the social networks of the NFRZ.

Besides, doctors, active participants in the donor movement, emphasize that the tools that were used to retain donors and the level of donor blood procurement during a coronavirus pandemic must be adapted and developed to prevent a decline in donor activity during seasonal infections - influenza, SARS, as well as during the period of mass vacations.

The events are held within the framework of the social project of the National Health Fund "Blood Donation and COVID-19", which is being implemented with the support of the Presidential Grants Fund.

In January 2021, the VI Moscow donor marathon “Touch the heart. Donation 2021” started and will last until November 18.
The traditional joint social donor event of the two companies was held in gratitude to Russian scientists, doctors, and blood donors for their care and assistance during the pandemic.
On February 25, a solemn ceremony of awarding the participants of the federal action "Donor is an honor!" was held for the first time in the Khabarovsk Regional Musical Theater.
In January 2021, the implementation of the social project by the National Fund for Health Development, dedicated to the development of regular blood donation in the capital, "Donation Out of Season", was launched. The project events will be held with the support of the Committee for Public Relations and Youth Policy of Moscow from January to December 2021.
The Republican blood transfusion station of Dagestan completed a major repair and updated medical equipment
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