Lifeblood’s top priority is the safety of our donors, our people and, of course, patients - the premature babies who receive donated breast milk.
To ensure the safety of our product, our donors already undergo extensive screening before milk is collected, tested and pasteurised and we do not collect from donors who are feeling unwell.
Our teams are continuing to work tirelessly to deliver one of the safest and high quality donor milk supplies in the world to neonatal intensive care units across New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland.
We’ve been collecting, testing and distributing life-saving products to the Australian community for 90 years and have a team of medical experts monitoring developments and advising of appropriate measures where necessary. With the emergence of coronavirus, we wish to reassure our donors, parents and clinicians that we have assessed the milk safety risk as low and it’s expected to remain low. There’s no evidence that coronavirus can be transmitted through pasteurised donor milk.
Despite the low risk, we have introduced several precautionary measures to further protect our people, donors and patients.
- We’ve introduced new screening questions to identify donors who may have been exposed to the virus.
- Any donor who has returned from overseas or come into close contact with a confirmed case is asked to wait three weeks before donating milk. This rule also applies to the donor if someone in their household has returned from overseas or come into close contact with a confirmed case.
- Any donor who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 is required to wait for four weeks after all symptoms have resolved.
- We’re also conducting more of our screening process by phone and where possible, we’ll collect donor milk from the donors door rather than coming into the home.
We’re incredibly grateful for the efforts of our existing and new milk donors and ask that you continue to work with us to help some of the country’s most vulnerable babies.