Covid 19 Donors Precautions Response May 2020
10th January 2016
Milk bank staff are being asked by neonatal clinicians what they are doing to ensure donor human milk is safe and also, are being contacted by mothers who wish to become donors or are previously recruited donors who have had confirmed (via testing) or unconfirmed Covid-19.
Dr Jim Gray, Consultant Microbiologist was approached for guidance regarding the above during the Covid -19 pandemic; please see response to following questions
- Do you recommend that milk banks adopt the same criteria as NBS?
- I think that following the NBS guidance would be a sensible approach, in keeping with the NICE Guideline, which follows the serological testing of NBS.
- We are collectively unsure of how best to determine how long to wait following a donor or prospective donor developing symptoms and then feeling well again before accepting her milk. Would ‘fully recovered’ be better than ‘after symptoms have settled’ and
- PHE Guidance is that people in hospital should be considered infectious as follows:
“IPC measures should continue for COVID-19 patients until 14 days have elapsed since their first positive SARS-CoV-2 test (this differs from A. community settings, where symptom onset is used). This is due to uncertainties about the duration of infectiousness for patients with more severe illness or underlying immune problems that may delay them clearing the virus”.
- Most Human Milk Banks have adopted the approach of 14 days from confirmed case as long as symptoms have settled to donate donor milk
- All human donor milk is pasteurised
- HMB’s remain in constant contact with donors and have robust processes for milk collection and “donors do it safely” questionnaires which covers any illnesses including Covid-19, Donors are asked to report any changes in their situations regarding Covid-19
- As more information becomes available this may change advice given
- UK Human Milk Banks are collaborating to share information and standardise approaches
- Testing and Tracking may change approach if becomes established