Effect of the first year of COVID-19 pandemic on the collection and use of blood components in Colombia monitored through the national haemovigilance system Academic Article


  • Transfusion Medicine


  • Objective: This work aimed to establish the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on blood collection and blood product usage at the end of the first year. Background: The arrival of SARS-CoV-2 to Colombia on March 6, 2020, triggered closure of borders and mandatory lockdown from March 23, 2020. Methods/Materials: The Colombian National Institute of Health administers the National database of confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 and the National Haemovigilance System. We examined positive SARS-CoV-2 cases identified between March 6, 2020, and March 6, 2021, using positive RT-PCR testing (72.8%) or reactive antigen (27.2%). We also analysed accepted and deferred donors' information provided by 100% of blood banks and transfused patients notified by 83% of health care facilities nationwide, between March 1, 2019, to February 28, 2021. Results: Colombia registered 2 273 245 SARS-CoV-2 cases. From these, 60 412 people died from COVID-19 (2.7%) and 2 172 418 individuals recovered (95.6%). There were 11 659 216 SARS-CoV-2 processed samples nationwide. People between the ages of 20 and 39 years concentrated 44.4% of the SARS-CoV-2 cases. There were 773 569 blood donations, mainly from a 20-39-year-old population (60.5%). The pandemic caused a reduction of 155 393 blood donations (16.7%) and 51 823 total deferrals (33.7%). An 18.4% drop in volunteer donors and a 37.3% increase in donations from family/replacements members were observed. There were 399 453 transfused patients and 1 179 895 blood components administered (−8.7% and − 13.9% compared to March 2019–February 2020). Conclusion: Mandatory lockdowns in Colombia decreased blood collection and usage, resulting in a reduction of blood components transfused to individual patients.

publication date

  • 2021-10-24

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0958-7578