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Journal of Blood Transfusion
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 813231, 4 pages
Research Article

Questionnaire-Related Deferrals in Regular Blood Donors in Norway

1Department of Haematology, Institute of Internal Medicine, University of Bergen, 5021 Bergen, Norway
2Department of Immunology and Transfusion Medicine, Haukeland University Hospital, 5021 Bergen, Norway
3Gades Institute, University of Bergen, 5021 Bergen, Norway

Received 14 August 2011; Revised 6 October 2011; Accepted 23 October 2011

Academic Editor: Silvano Wendel

Copyright © 2012 Håkon Reikvam et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Voluntary donation is a key issue in transfusion medicine. To ensure the safety of blood transfusions, careful donor selection is important. Although new approaches to blood safety have dramatically reduced the risks for infectious contamination of blood components, the quality and the availability of blood components depend on the willingness to donate and the reliability of the information given by the donors about their own health, including risk behavior. As donors who are deferred by the blood bank will be less motivated to return for donation, it is important to reduce the number of deferrals. The aims of the present study were to investigate the reasons for deferral of registered donors coming to the blood bank for donation, in order to identify areas of importance for donor education—as these deferrals potentially could be avoided by better donor comprehension. Deferral related to testing of donors is not included in this study as these deferrals are dependent on laboratory results and cannot be indentified by questionnaire or interview. Data were collected from all blood donors in a period for 18 months who came for blood donation at a large university hospital in Norway. 1 163 of the 29 787 regular donors, who showed up for donation, were deferred (3.9%). The main reasons were intercurrent illness ( 𝑛 = 1 8 2 ) (15.6%), skin ulcers ( 𝑛 = 1 7 0 ) (14.6%), and risk behaviour ( 𝑛 = 1 2 7 ) (10.9%). In a community, intercurrent illnesses, skin ulcers, and potential risk behavior are the most frequent reasons for deferral of regular donors. Strategized effort on donor education is needed, as “failure to donate” reduces donor motivation.