As misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines spreads, medical doctors throughout Canada say some patients are refusing blood transfusions from vaccinated donors, placing their well being in danger.
Earlier this month, Calgary-based obstetrician Dr. Stephanie Cooper tweeted that for the first time, she had encountered a affected person who had declined to obtain a blood transfusion until the blood was from an unvaccinated donor.
“So – this was a primary for me. A affected person declined blood transfusion if the donor had obtained a COVID vaccination,” she tweeted on Oct. 2.
Cooper’s tweet was met with replies from different physicians who say they’ve encountered patients making comparable requests, together with from London, Ont.-based obstetrician Dr. Genevieve Eastabrook, who tweeted, “Sadly, we’ve had a few patients right here with the identical beliefs.”
Dr. Davinder Sidhu, the division head for transfusion and transplant drugs for southern Alberta, says he is seen requests for unvaccinated blood “at the least a couple of times a month during the last a number of months.” In some instances, these issues have been raised by mother and father who’ve heightened issues over their youngsters.
“Some of the identical issues these mother and father have about vaccinating their children, additionally they have about getting transfusions from COVID-vaccinated of us,” he advised CTVNews.ca over the cellphone on Friday. “Our job for these of us is to offer the knowledge, present our greatest medical opinion primarily based on the present medical proof and scientific proof and stroll them by the dangers that we all know of for positive.”
But Sidhu mentioned he is additionally come throughout people who’ve declined transfusions from vaccinated donors primarily based on misinformation from doubtful sources. Some of those sources incorrectly declare that spike proteins in vaccinated blood may one way or the other hurt recipients or that receiving vaccinated blood may alter patients’ DNA.
“Currently, primarily based on the science that we all know, there is no such thing as a elevated danger for receiving blood from somebody who was vaccinated, or unvaccinated for that matter,” Sidhu mentioned.
Canadian Blood Services (CBS) agrees and says such claims are “unproven and never substantiated,” citing the rigorous security research these vaccines have gone by in addition to the continuing blood security monitoring in Canada and all over the world.
“As a part of our mandate to offer a secure, accessible blood provide to Canadians, medical and scientific professionals at Canadian Blood Services fastidiously assessment and assess every vaccine accepted to be used in Canada. Health Canada has not advisable or imposed any restriction on using the accepted COVID-19 vaccines and blood donation,” the company advised CTVNews.ca in a press release on Thursday.
CBS additionally notes that not one of the vaccines accepted by Health Canada carry any dwell pathogens and that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is not transmissible by blood.
There can be no solution to accommodate requests for blood merchandise from unvaccinated donors, on condition that the COVID-19 vaccination standing of donors isn’t labelled on blood donations. Some patients might request blood particularly from a buddy or member of the family they know is unvaccinated. However, requests for directed donations are virtually by no means granted, given the massive logistical challenges in ensuring the correct blood goes to the correct particular person.
“We’re deviating from all of our routine processes in terms of deciding on blood and blood merchandise. And so really, the danger for human error and the danger for different issues goes up after we introduce this new difficult issue,” Sidhu defined.
Adult patients nonetheless have the correct to refuse blood transfusions for no matter motive, however this comes with large dangers. While there could also be alternate options therapies for some situations, blood transfusions are sometimes the one answer for these experiencing critical blood loss.
“There’s actually no alternate options to blood in terms of oxygen-carrying capability. And so, should you’re having extreme bleeds and now you are having cardiac decompensation, otherwise you’re having different issues since you’re hypovolemic attributable to blood loss, there’s not very many choices,” Sidhu mentioned.