Solidarity and Voluntarism Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: Skin Cancer Screening for Blood Donors Supporting volunteer blood donors through skin cancer screening
Supporting volunteer blood donors through skin cancer screening
Citation: Grafanaki K, Georgiou S, Stratigos AJ. Solidarity and voluntarism amid the COVID-19 pandemic: Skin cancer screening for blood donors. Dermatol Pract Concept. 2021;11(3):e2021080. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5826/dpc.1103a80
Accepted: February 5, 2021, Published: May 20, 2021
Copyright: ©2021 Grafanaki et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License BY-NC-4.0, which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original authors and source are credited.
Competing interests: The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
Authorship: All authors have contributed significantly to this publication.
Corresponding Author: Katerina Grafanaki MSc, MD, PhD, Department of Dermatology, University Hospital of Patras, School of Medicine, University of Patras, 26504 Patras, Greece. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Many of the volunteer activities required to raise public awareness on skin cancer screening and prevention are supported by dermatological societies and volunteer dermatologists, and are framed by substantial voluntary groups, often not sufficiently credited for their contribution, including blood donors and Red Cross Samaritans. We herein propose that amid the ongoing pandemic, skin cancer screening and blood donations must not be disrupted with attention paid to patient safety foremost. Although efforts over the last decade have led to a significant reduction in skin cancer, ongoing activities have been suspended and, in many cases, disrupted since the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spread has created a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. International Health systems are burdened, and patients ignore symptoms and evade specialist visits due to contamination fear of coronavirus, resulting in a 68.61% reduction in skin cancer diagnoses. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has also major implications for blood transfusion. Currently, there are uncertain patterns of demand, and transfusion institutions need to plan for reductions in donations and loss of crucial staff because of sickness and public health restrictions. Supporting volunteer blood donors through voluntary skin cancer screening could be an excellent initiative, bringing people together, giving us the opportunity to abandon the illusion of power and admit our weakness to the ongoing pandemic. Most of us have not worked through pandemics before but it is time to embrace humanity and solidarity via volunteering, with no profit aims but with social goals of equal skin cancer screening opportunities of vitally important volunteer blood donors, encouraging blood donation. In light of a change in dermatology practice, investing in prevention strategies in public health and social protection is the mark of responsible policy action.