All blood transfusion clinics in county Louth in the upcoming period are being moved to Ardee, the Irish Blood Transfusion Service have confirmed. All appointments will now be appointment only, with no walk-ins accepted.
The Irish Blood Transfusion Service Mobile Unit was due to be in Dundalk Monday March 30 to Thursday April 2, with clinics held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Monday and Tuesday and then at Clan na Gael GFC on Wednesday and Thursday. The clinics at these locations will now not be held however clinics will take place in Ardee on the same dates.
The Crowne Plaza Hotel closed its doors on Thursday March 19 and all GAA clubs in the country have been ordered to shut their facilities to all activity, forcing the IBTS into the relocation.
These are appointment only. Donors are asked to contact the the Ardee Regional Office on 041 685 9994 to make an appointment. Additionally, further clinics will be held in Ardee in Monday April 6 and Tuesday April 7, as well as one more donation clinic on Tuesday April 14. These are also appointment only. Donors must call ahead to be given an allotted time to donate.
On Wednesday, the Irish Blood Transfusion Service announced details of the changes to their blood donation clinics in order to continue collecting blood to meet patient demand while ensuring the safety of donors attending clinics. IBTS are also asking donors over 70 not to give blood at this time.
Chief Executive Andy Kelly said the aim was to manage attendance and ensure maximum distancing between donors and clinic staff. “We are asking donors to make appointments so that we can manage attendance to ensure maximum social distancing while attending a clinic. These arrangements will come into effect on Monday 30th March.
“In spite of Covid 19, we still need to collect about 80% of our normal supply. Cancer patients, transplant cases, trauma and others with conditions that require ongoing support with blood components rely on blood donors as much as ever. Donors will be triaged before committing to an appointment and will be met at the clinic and pre-assessed again before proceeding to donate.
“Social distancing will be maintained throughout the process and clinic staff have been trained to minimise the risk to donors. We would also ask that those who make an appointment keep it so that there is a sustainable blood supply.” Donors will be contacted by text and asked to call a number for their local clinic so that an appointment slot can be allocated to them.