COVID-19 Update

by Whitney

April 27, 2020

Update: CIPO Statement on COVID-19

CIPO has received many inquiries related to COVID-19 (the current coronavirus), most of which are related to patient specific travel or medical care. For specific medical inquiries, please contact your healthcare provider, or treating specialist. 

 

CIPO COVID-19 Webinar:

CIPO will be hosting a special COVID-19 webinar on Tuesday, May 5th at 6pm EST with our Medical and Science Advisory Co-Chairs, Dr. Stephen Betschel and Dr. Bruce Ritchie. This webinar will be a Q&A format with all questions needing to be submitted by 5pm EST Friday May 1st. You can submit a questions via our website, twitter, Instagram, FB or email info@cipo.ca

 

COVID-19 in Canada:

Cases of COVID-19 in provinces and across Canada is changing by the hour. Please continue to check your regional public health for area specific information. 

 

Plasma Supply:

Currently, there are no plasma or plasma product shortages in Canada. However, some plasma collection companies have notified CIPO of a drop in plasma collections due to COVID-19. We do not know at this point if this will have an impact to plasma products in 10-18 months.

 

How You Can Help:

You can help during this pandemic in many ways. We’ve highlighted a few:

  • Stay home and stay healthy!
  • Encourage your family, friends and networks to donate blood and plasma if they can
  • Help minimize workload at the hospital by arriving for your appointments on time
  • Encourage social distancing and raise awareness of PI – explain to others why you are self-isolating and encourage them to do their part to “plank the curve”

 

Q&A:

IPOPI (International Patient Organization for Primary Immunodeficiencies) has produced several Q&A sessions over the last few weeks. These are available on their website. 

 

IG Therapy:

CIPO has had many inquiries from concerned patients regarding entering the hospital, for either:

  • Picking up SCIG product at the blood bank, or
  • Getting IVIG treatment

 

We understand the fear and anxiety and are working with Canadian Blood Services and local health authorities to try and reduce hospital exposure for patients and families. 

In the meantime, we do not know how long this pandemic will last, and it is important to continue your IG treatment.

Patients using IVIG:

CIPO has had many inquiries from concerned patients regarding IVIG in hospital. Please note that IVIG treatments will continue as they are deemed an essential medicine. 

If you do not wish to enter a hospital for your IVIG and would like to consider moving to SCIG (in-home therapy) during the course of this pandemic, please contact your prescribing physician. 

Patients using SCIG:

  • All patients should be able to designate an alternate person to pick up their product. 
  • If you have not already put this into place, contact your SCIG nurse or blood bank

 

Travel:

The Public Health Agency of Canada has recommended that Canadians avoid all unecessary travel. 

CIPO recommends limiting non-essential travel when possible. If you must travel, we recommend the following:

  • Avoid public transit, when possible
  • Use your own vehicle, if possible

If you are planning to travel, we recommend reading the current Government of Canada and Public Health Agency warnings and travel advisories.

 https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories

 

Testing:

If you feel ill, or think you may have the virus:

  • Do NOT go to the hopsital or walk-in clinic (unless instructed to by your doctor OR you cannot manage your symptoms at home)
  • Self-isolate and call your doctor 
  • Use inhalers (if prescribed) and medications to managed symptoms

CIPO is hearing concern from patients regarding testing for the virus and lack of fever response in some PI disease states. Please know that COVID-19 testing in Canada is not under the same conditions as testing in the US (where testing has been limited). 

 

Plasma Products:

The PPTA has issued a statement that there is no risk of transmission of COVID-19 into plasma products. 

 

Updates:

CIPO will continue to update on this virus as necessary. 

For more information, please see the following:

 

COVID-19 map – https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

Canadian Blood Services 

WHO https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Public Health Agency of Canada https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html

Government of Canada: www.canada.ca/coronavirus

 

CIPO will continue to update on this virus as necessary.


About the Author


Whitney