Asian Journal of Transfusion Science

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year
: 2013  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 158--159

Perspectives and attitudes to voluntary blood donation in a tertiary referral hospital blood bank


Umakanth Siromani1, Tsuneo Tsubaki2, Dolly Daniel1, Joy John Mammen1, Sukesh Chandra Nair1,  
1 Department of Transfusion Medicine and Immunohaematology, John Scudder Memorial Blood Bank, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632 004, Tamilnadu, India
2 Global Health Fellow, Pfizer Inc., Japan

Correspondence Address:
Umakanth Siromani
John Scudder Memorial Blood Bank, Department of Transfusion Medicine and Immunohaematology, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632 004, Tamilnadu
India




How to cite this article:
Siromani U, Tsubaki T, Daniel D, Mammen JJ, Nair SC. Perspectives and attitudes to voluntary blood donation in a tertiary referral hospital blood bank.Asian J Transfus Sci 2013;7:158-159


How to cite this URL:
Siromani U, Tsubaki T, Daniel D, Mammen JJ, Nair SC. Perspectives and attitudes to voluntary blood donation in a tertiary referral hospital blood bank. Asian J Transfus Sci [serial online] 2013 [cited 2019 Jul 20 ];7:158-159
Available from: http://www.ajts.org/text.asp?2013/7/2/158/115589


Full Text

Sir,

Blood stored in blood banks is inadequate to meet the needs of patients. There is a steady decline in blood donation while the demand for transfusion continues to rise. [1] Voluntary donation system is by far the best and it needs to be strengthened. [2] It is important that voluntary non-remunerated blood donations should be promoted, accepted and practiced for safe blood supply. [3] Our donor base comprised predominantly replacement donors till 2002, when focused effort were put into trying to increase our voluntary donor numbers. However this process has been slow. To see how we could improve our voluntary donor recruitment strategies, this study was designed to investigate reasons for donating and not donating.

A total of 500 questionnaires were distributed randomly to donors and non-donors and 435 questionnaires were returned; giving a response rate of 87%. Donors tend to be motivated by altruism, humanitarian reasons, peer pressure and curiosity, whereas non-donors cite the following reasons for not donating: medical problems, fear of needles, general apprehension and fear of after effects. [4]

Blood banks should continue to improve upon the waiting time and donor care. Asking for people's opinions, comments and suggestions is a part of customer service which helps to understand the strength and weakness of a blood bank.

Interviews with local people revealed that there were common myths, fears and superstitions regarding blood donation. Overcoming negative attitudes about blood donation is a major step in recruitment strategy. The study results suggest that the blood bank should reduce the perceived risks associated with blood donation [Table 1].{Table 1}

Our study results indicate that typical blood donors belong to a younger age group with a higher level of education. The donors and non-donors were found to vary in their behaviors as well as in their attitudes and beliefs. Blood banks should launch promotional programs to address the value of blood donation and to correct some of the misconceptions. However blood bank should cut down waiting time to improve donor care so as to encourage donors to develop a donation habit.

 Acknowledgement



This work was supported by Health Volunteer Overseas, Washington DC, USA and Pfizer Inc. NY, USA.

References

1Watanabe KK, Schreiber GB, Hayes A, Williams AE. Factors influencing the recruitment and retention of young donors. Transfusion 1999;39:(Suppl):A3-20.
2Shenga N, Thankappan KR, Kartha CC, Pal R. Analyzing sociodemographic factors amongst blood donors. J Emerg Trauma Shock 2010;3:21-5.
3Makroo RN. Compendium of Transfusion Medicine. New Delhi: Alps Printers; 1999. p. 91-2.
4Gillespie TW, Newman JL, Bellamy M, Hillyer KL, Strong M, Hillyer CD. National study of blood donation-making: current and lapsed donors. Transfusion 2002;42:122s-3.