Nova Scotia

Man says he was turned away from blood clinic because his hair smelled of shampoo

A man who says he was turned away from a Halifax blood clinic because he had washed his hair wants a list of products people can use under the Nova Scotia Health Authority's no-scents policy.

Sean Wyatt wants list of approved products under no-scents policy

Sean Wyatt said he went to the Bayers Road blood collection facility on Tuesday morning but was turned away because he had recently washed his hair. (Associated Press)

A man who says he was turned away from a Halifax blood clinic because he had washed his hair wants a list of products people can use under the Nova Scotia Health Authority's no-scents policy.

Sean Wyatt said he went to the Bayers Road blood collection facility on Tuesday morning to give a blood sample because of an infection in his spine.

Staff there turned him away because of the smell of his hair, he said.

"She actually had to lean forward and smell my hair to smell the scent coming off, and I think the only reason she could smell the scent coming off my hair was because it was still a little bit wet because I just washed it," he told CBC News.

Ivory soap, Biolage shampoo

Wyatt said he wasn't wearing any cologne or deodorant, but had washed his body with Ivory soap and his hair with Biolage shampoo. He said the shampoo does not have a strong scent.

Am I not supposed to shower and clean myself before I go to the hospital?- Sean Wyatt

He said in this instance the concern was one of the staff.

"What I don't understand is why they are frontline caregivers when they can't look after everybody," he said.

Wyatt said he asked where he could go instead, and was told the no-scents policy applied everywhere. He drove to the Halifax Infirmary anyway and gave blood there without issue.

"They didn't bat an eye."

'Strong or irritating odour'

CBC News contacted the Nova Scotia Health Authority, which said it can't speak to individual cases because of its privacy policy. 

It did send its policy and procedures, which say the health authority will eliminate the use of products with "a strong or irritating odour" and ask anyone using scented products to remove the scent and leave the facility where possible. The request should be made in a "cordial and respectful manner." 

Wyatt said a no-scents policy makes sense to him, but he wants a list of acceptable products so he can still wash before he comes to give blood.

"I don't want to hurt anybody, so I understand that," he said. "But as I left I also thought, so, what does this mean? Am I not supposed to shower and clean myself before I go to the hospital?"
 

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