Around the globe, the pandemic has slowed the pace of life. Travel, entertainment, nightlife, business meetings — all have been cut back dramatically. However, the same cannot be said for operations at the world’s blood banks.
The need for donated blood never wanes. Every second of every day donated blood saves accident and burn victims, organ-transplant and heart-surgery patients, and those battling cancer and other life-threatening conditions.
It’s never easy to attract enough blood donors, but in a socially distanced world, where citizens are encouraged to stay home and blood drives have been cancelled, the challenge has intensified. During this trying time, it is imperative for blood banks to keep up donations and to keep the blood-bank environment safe both for donors and staff.
That’s why the Beijing Red Cross Blood Center — among the largest blood-collection and supply institutions in Asia — has installed 23 Novaerus air dis-infection units throughout its bustling facility.
“We’ve always known it was important to clean the air, but because of Covid-19, we are paying more attention to air purification,” says a spokesperson for the centre. “We have so many donors coming in and out, and over 450 employees. In order to keep everyone safe, we need to continually dis-infect the air.”
The Novaerus units bring peace of mind both to donors and medical professionals who assist in collecting the blood.
“Platelet donors are required to donate blood for at least 30 minutes in a blood collection chair, and the room is relatively confined,” the spokesperson said. “The blood donors are quite near each other.” But even in areas of the blood bank where people are able to remain at a distance, air dis-infection is critical.
Studies now show that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, can be transmitted via aerosols — minuscule particles that travel great distances and can hover in the air for long periods. We also know the virus is very often shed by people who have no symptoms. An infected person need not cough or sneeze to launch infectious particles airborne; simply talking, even breathing, indoors can expose others inside the building.
The Beijing blood bank first installed the quiet, compact units in its hemapheresis department, where blood donors are received. Shortly after that, the devices were installed in other departments to protect employees from Covid-19. “We know the devices have been proven to inactivate viruses, so the doctors and other staff feel safe,” says the centre’s spokesperson.
Not only does Novaerus NanoStrike technology help protect personnel from SARS-CoV-2, but the same technology has been proven to instantly inactivate and kill numerous other highly infectious airborne viruses and bacteria such as influenza, measles, C. difficile and MRSA.
Prior to purchasing Novaerus devices, the Beijing Red Cross Blood Center researched numerous air-purification technologies. “We learned that Novaerus technology is different from traditional filtration, UV solutions, and other chemical solutions,” says the centre’s spokesperson. “We wanted to try the most advanced dis-infecting technology and had more confidence in Novaerus products.”
Indeed, Novaerus ultra-low-energy plasma technology, NanoStrike®, leaves behind no harmful byproducts, which makes it safe to operate continuously around even the most vulnerable people. Each year, according to the International Red Cross, 118 million blood donations are collected, and these donations save lives. With Novaerus technology operating continually, the lives of blood donors and staff who process the donations are protected as well.