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Vol 2, No 2 (2009)
ORIGINAL PAPERS
Published online: 2009-05-18
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Temporary blood donor deferrals due to low hemoglobin levels in Polish regional blood centers

Aleksandra Rosiek, Aleksandra Dzieciątkowska, Elżbieta Lachert, Magdalena Łętowska
Journal of Transfusion Medicine 2009;2(2):73-80.

open access

Vol 2, No 2 (2009)
ORIGINAL PAPERS
Published online: 2009-05-18

Abstract

Background: Donor deferrals inevitably lead to loss of donated blood and may affect donorreturn rates and subsequent blood donations. Low hemoglobin (Hb) levels are among the most frequent reasons for inability to donate blood, and therefore one of the principal problems concerning blood donation and blood donor care. The aim of this study was to estimate the scope of blood donor deferrals caused by low hemoglobin levels.
Material and methods: Retrospective analysis of 2003–2007 data from Regional Blood Centers was performed, using standardized criteria for donor deferrals. Hb acceptance standards for blood donors were set at two different levels (125 g/l for women, 135 g/l for men).
Results: Within study period (2003–2007), the number of persons appearing for donation in Poland ranged from 534 807 to 623 209 per year. The overall number of temporal deferrals was from 82 591 to 139 539 per year, which is about 18% of persons appearing for donation. Low hemoglobin levels were the reason for deferral in approx. 25% of such cases and for many Regional Blood Centers the most frequent one. However, for reasons which remain unclear, in individual Regional Centers, the Hb-based deferral rates varied widely, ranging from 16.7 to 44.4% of all temporary deferrals. In the 2007 analysis, donors were divided into 3 groups; men and 2 age categories for women. Not surprisingly, Hb-based deferral rate was the lowest for men (3.1% of men appearing for donation), nearly two fold higher for women above 50 (5.7 % of women in this age group appearing for donation) and the highest for younger women (11.6% of women in this age group appearing for donation).
Conclusions: According to our analysis, low hemoglobin levels in blood donors result in significant loss of donated-blood, especially in the group of pre-menopausal women. Such losses could somewhat be avoided, if the interval between donations were prolonged and iron supplementation introduced, whenever necessary. Further studies, including monitoring donors for iron deficiency (e.g. evaluation of serum iron and ferritin levels), could help to elucidate the problem.

Abstract

Background: Donor deferrals inevitably lead to loss of donated blood and may affect donorreturn rates and subsequent blood donations. Low hemoglobin (Hb) levels are among the most frequent reasons for inability to donate blood, and therefore one of the principal problems concerning blood donation and blood donor care. The aim of this study was to estimate the scope of blood donor deferrals caused by low hemoglobin levels.
Material and methods: Retrospective analysis of 2003–2007 data from Regional Blood Centers was performed, using standardized criteria for donor deferrals. Hb acceptance standards for blood donors were set at two different levels (125 g/l for women, 135 g/l for men).
Results: Within study period (2003–2007), the number of persons appearing for donation in Poland ranged from 534 807 to 623 209 per year. The overall number of temporal deferrals was from 82 591 to 139 539 per year, which is about 18% of persons appearing for donation. Low hemoglobin levels were the reason for deferral in approx. 25% of such cases and for many Regional Blood Centers the most frequent one. However, for reasons which remain unclear, in individual Regional Centers, the Hb-based deferral rates varied widely, ranging from 16.7 to 44.4% of all temporary deferrals. In the 2007 analysis, donors were divided into 3 groups; men and 2 age categories for women. Not surprisingly, Hb-based deferral rate was the lowest for men (3.1% of men appearing for donation), nearly two fold higher for women above 50 (5.7 % of women in this age group appearing for donation) and the highest for younger women (11.6% of women in this age group appearing for donation).
Conclusions: According to our analysis, low hemoglobin levels in blood donors result in significant loss of donated-blood, especially in the group of pre-menopausal women. Such losses could somewhat be avoided, if the interval between donations were prolonged and iron supplementation introduced, whenever necessary. Further studies, including monitoring donors for iron deficiency (e.g. evaluation of serum iron and ferritin levels), could help to elucidate the problem.
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Keywords

blood donors; deferrals; hemoglobin levels; iron status

About this article
Title

Temporary blood donor deferrals due to low hemoglobin levels in Polish regional blood centers

Journal

Journal of Transfusion Medicine

Issue

Vol 2, No 2 (2009)

Pages

73-80

Published online

2009-05-18

Bibliographic record

Journal of Transfusion Medicine 2009;2(2):73-80.

Keywords

blood donors
deferrals
hemoglobin levels
iron status

Authors

Aleksandra Rosiek
Aleksandra Dzieciątkowska
Elżbieta Lachert
Magdalena Łętowska

References (15)
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