Demographical Pattern of Blood Donors and Pre-Donation Deferral Causes in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
Salah H Elsafi
Clinical Laboratory Science Department, Prince Sultan Military College of Health Science, Dammam 31448, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Correspondence: Salah H Elsafi
Clinical Laboratory Science Department, Prince Sultan Military College of Health Science, P.O. Box 33048, Dammam 31448, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Tel +966 13 8405448
Fax + 966 13 8405577
Background: Understanding the demographic features of blood donors is important for identifying the donor structure and guiding the recruitment and retention strategies of donors. This study was aimed to determine the demographic characteristics of blood donors, the types of donation drives, and the frequency and reasons for pre-donation deferral in our population.
Methods: This cross-sectional study included data analysis of all prospective blood donors presenting themselves for donation at the Blood Bank of the King Fahad Military Medical Complex, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia between January 2010 and December 2018. Eligibility of blood donation was assessed using a standardized history questionnaire, physical examination, hemoglobin estimation, pulse rate, blood pressure, and temperature. The questionnaire included the demographic features of the donor such as age, gender, and the reason for donation and other specific risk factors that potentially affect the safety of the donor or the recipient. Data analyzed using the analysis of SPSS version 20 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) were used to calculate the unadjusted odds ratios (OR) and the respective 95% confidence interval for the association between the various demographic parameters.
Results: A total of 28,189 potential donations were recorded during the study period; of these, 77.4% were family replacements with females accounting for only 1.8% of all donations. Most of the donors were Saudi nationals (92.1%) of whom donors between 18 and 34 years old constituted 87.9%, while those over 40 years old represented only 7.9% of the donations. Pre-donation temporary deferral occurred in 3300 (11.7%) of all potential donation attempts. The most common causes being the recent intake of medication (24.4%) followed by low hemoglobin (14.8%), low or high blood pressure (14.6%), low or high pulse rate (13.6%), and low weight (11.6%).
Conclusion: A profile of blood donors consisting mainly of young male citizens who mostly donated for family replacement was detected. Deferral rate was found to be average when compared to other countries; the causes being similar to those detected in other developed countries. Simple descriptive statistics has shown no marked difference was noted over the 9 years of the study in neither the profile of blood donors nor the cause for temporary deferral of prospective blood donors.
Keywords: blood donation, donor’s demography, donor deferral
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