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Introduction. A consistent blood supply to support life-saving transfusions relies on regular and repeat volunteer blood donations. In this study, we focused on donors previously deferred for low-hemoglobin (Hb) levels to better understand the value of supplying post-deferral educational information, and the actions donors took based on their deferral.

Methods. An anonymous national survey of active and inactive donor groups (10,000 each) was conducted. The survey questions assessed post-deferral donor actions, preferences regarding post deferral education, understanding of their deferral, and demographic information. Chi-square analysis was performed to compare categorical survey results between donor groups with p < 0.05 denoting statistical significance.

Results. The survey resulted in 722 and 103 active and inactive donor respons- es, respectively. Active donors were more likely to recall receiving educational materials post-deferral (52% vs. 35%, p=003), take iron and vitamin supplements (54% vs. 39%, p=0.009), lived within 30 min of a donor site (94% vs. 84%, p=0.006), and more likely to be older than 45 yr (62% vs. 42%, p=0.002) than their inactive donor counter- parts. Active and inactive donors were similar (p>0.05) with anemia history frequency, female-gender predominance, low-prevalence of vegans, and mixed interest in receiving information about raising hemoglobin levels.

Conclusion. While active donors more frequently recalled receiving educational materials for their low hemoglobin deferral, and were more likely to take action to improve their hemoglobin, an alternative method of post-deferral recruitment should be considered given the uncertain value of post-deferral information when comparing active vs. inactive donors.


Mark Fung, UVM Larner College of Medicine

Jenny Lamping, American Red Cross, Northern New England Region

Jan Carney

UVM Larner College of Medicine


American Red Cross - Northern New England Region


Blood Disorders and Blood Safety

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License

Impact of Deferral for Low Hemoglobin on Donor Return