Analysis of Reasons for Prospective Blood Donor Deferrals at Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex Blood Collection Centre, in Trinidad and Tobago

Sehlule Vuma, Hasina Mayers, George Legall and Angel Alberto Justiz Vaillant

Introduction: Blood banks must ensure reliability of blood supplies. However many prospective donors are temporarily deferred due to reasons that are preventable.

Objective: To describe the reasons for deferral of prospective blood donors at a local Blood Collection Centre.

Materials and Methods: This was a descriptive analysis of reasons for deferral of 488 prospective blood donors between April 2011 and May 2012. They were screened using the Pan American Health Organization 2009 guidelines. Haemoglobin was assessed using the Copper sulphate (CuSO4)

Method: 293 subjects (60.04%), or HemoCue Hb201+: 195 subjects (39.96%). Results: 179(36.7%) were females aged 18 to 59years. The commonest reason for deferral was high blood pressure: 126donors (25.8%). Others included lack of sleep 27 (5.5%), not eating prior: 5(1.02%), drank alcohol/ smoked prior, 9 (1.84%), tattoo/piercing, 14 (2.87%), breast feeding, inter-current illnesses, and "too soon" after a previous donation. 57(11.7%), were deferred due to low haemoglobin. 16 (28.1%), were screened using CuSO4 and 41(71.9%) using HemoCue.

Conclusion: A high percentage of deferrals were due to hypertension or reasons that would not potentially endanger the blood recipients and could be prevented. This emphasizes the need for education of potential donor populations in order to avoid unfruitful blood bank visits. Deferrals based on low haemoglobin were higher using Hemocue method.