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Introduction: Supplying adequate blood for transfusions is an ongoing challenge for blood collection agencies. One potential source of increased Whole Blood (WB) supply is among 16-17 year-olds, whose donation rates are still quite low. In 2010, donors aged 16-18 years-old provided 14% of all WB collected by the American Red Cross. Young donors may represent an opportunity to establish a committed, long-term blood donation base as they are more likely to return after first donation and donate at a higher yield rate than older donors. However, younger donors also have higher rates of adverse events during donation. Currently, 38 states allow 16 year-olds to donate blood with parental consent but Vermont is not among them. Our study examines the public’s comfort with 16 year-olds donating blood. As blood donation is a voluntary system, ascertaining the perspective of the general population regarding this issue could contribute to a policy debate surrounding the minimum age of donation.


Jan Carney, MD, MPH, University of Vermont College of Medicine

Mark Fung, MD, PhD, University of Vermont College of Medicine

Carol Dembeck, American Red Cross Northern New England Region

Christian Frenette, MA, American Red Cross Northern New England Region


American Red Cross - Northern New England Region


Blood Disorders and Blood Safety, Educational and Community-Based Programs, Health Communication and Health Information Technology, Public Health Infrastructure


Presented at the AABB Annual Meeting and CTTXPO Boston, MA, October 6-9, 2012 as "Should 16-Year-Olds Be Allowed to Donate Blood? A Vermont Perspective" by MK Fung, GA Crowl, AA Daud, V G Franz, NG Phillips, ML Pinsky, JP Pons, A Zingiryan, C Frenette, and JK Carney. Transfusion, September 2012, v. 52 Suppl. p. 85A.

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