Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spurred a global health crisis.The safety and supply of blood during this pandemic has been a concern of different blood banks and transfusion services as it is expected to reduce the blood supply and adversely affect blood system activities. We aim to assess the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean region (EMR) region during the first months of the pandemic. Methods: A survey was designed to address blood supply, transfusion demand and donor management during SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Medical directors of different blood banks were invited to participate. Results: Total of 17 responses were received with representation from 15 countries in the region. 76% were from national blood banks. Most centers had a drop in the blood supply, ranging 10-75%. Representatives from 14 countries (93.3%) believed that public fear has contributed to decrease in donations. Most centers (n=12, 70%) had a reduction in transfusion demand, while those who didn’t reported heavy involvement in treating patients with underlying hemoglobinopathies and haematological malignancies. Half of the centers activated their emergency & contingency plans. Four centers had to alter the blood donor deferral criteria in order to meet demands. All centers implemented donor deferral criteria in relation to SARS-CoV-2, but were variable in other measures to mitigate the risk of donor and staff exposure. Conclusions: Blood services in the region faced variable degrees of blood shortages. Blood services need to take steps to plan, assess, and respond proportionately to future similar pandemics.


I am the General Director of Allied Health Services at the Palestinian Ministry of Health and the Presidant of the syndicate of the Palestinian Medical Technology Association. In addition, I am the President of the Arab Federation of Clinical Biology. I hold a Master degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences and a high diploma in Management for Middle Managers I am an astute manager, I led the capacity building of Lab. Medicine in Palestine particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. I have several research activities and coauthored several publications.