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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 97-98

Identity card for blood donor – Should it be an option or mandatory for donation?

Department of Transfusion Medicine, Sree Chitra Tirunal Instuitute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

Date of Submission10-Feb-2020
Date of Decision27-Feb-2020
Date of Acceptance04-Mar-2020
Date of Web Publication17-Apr-2020

Correspondence Address:
R Amita
Department of Transfusion Medicine, Sree Chitra Tirunal Instuitute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/GJTM.GJTM_12_20

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How to cite this article:
Amita R, Gupta D. Identity card for blood donor – Should it be an option or mandatory for donation?. Glob J Transfus Med 2020;5:97-8

How to cite this URL:
Amita R, Gupta D. Identity card for blood donor – Should it be an option or mandatory for donation?. Glob J Transfus Med [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 May 17];5:97-8. Available from: https://www.gjtmonline.com/text.asp?2020/5/1/97/282677


Blood transfusion is a complex multistep procedure, in which correct identification (ID) at each step is crucial to ensure safety both in medical and legal aspects. Correct demographic data of the donor at registration is the beginning point. However, accurate recording of donor demographic information is often fraught with numerous challenges due to language barriers, incorrect spelling, temporary address, contact number of friend or relative, willful falsification, etc.

We report such an incident at our blood center, in which the donor willfully suppressed facts, to become eligible for donation.

An 18-year-old male came for blood donation at our center. As is the practice, the donor was asked to fill up the donor questionnaire, including the demographic details. The Aadhaar number is asked for, but not mandatory for registration. His filled-up questionnaire showed that he had donated once 3 months back at our center. However, according to his date of birth entered in the present donor questionnaire, he had attained 18 years of age only a few days back. His previous donor questionnaire was retrieved, and it confirmed that he had indeed donated blood 3 months back, claiming to be 19 years old and accordingly entered an incorrect date of birth. The date of birth in the present questionnaire was verified using the college identity card. When the donor was asked about this, he admitted to have falsified his age, to become eligible for donation, under peer pressure. He was part of a group, under the banner of a film actor's fans association, who had come to donate blood on his birthday. It was strictly conveyed to him that the donor questionnaire is a signed and valid legal document and the person signing the document is legally responsible for the truthfulness of the document, in the event of any legal issues.

The 2017 guidelines on blood donor selection and blood donor deferral by the National Blood Transfusion Council have stressed on making efforts to get the correct details of the donor so that he can be contacted in future.[1] It is time that efforts are made to verify the donor details, in the form of making an identity card mandatory for blood donation. AABB-accredited blood centers require two forms of ID for first-time donors and the donor identity card for subsequent donations.[2] American Red Cross blood services insist on having an identity card (at least one primary or two secondary forms of ID) for blood donation and for high school students require verification of the identity and age of student by school officials or volunteers instructed in ID verification to register for first-time blood donation.[3]

When a donor donates blood under peer pressure, he may hide the facts to become eligible for blood donation, jeopardizing his own health as well as the recipient's health. We have had occasions when regular blood donors have falsified the donation interval to become eligible for donation. The underlying motivating factor for blood donation should be clearly elicited in terms of attitude or incentives[4] during predonation counseling. Incentive may not be always in the form of cash, but as good food, awards and recognition, time off work, etc. Incentive-based blood donation will never ensure good-quality blood.

The study by Glynn et al. found that repeat whole-blood donors motivated by monetary incentives were 70% more likely to have an unreported deferrable risk than donors who are discouraged or indifferent to these incentives.[5] Abolghasemi et al. in their study titled “Blood donor incentives: A step forward or backward” concluded that recruiting donors by material incentives may promote the wrong culture of paid donation and undermine the altruistic setting in blood donation.[6]

Mandating an ID card for first-time registration as a blood donor and donation card for all subsequent blood donations along with mandatory predonation counseling will strengthen the “vein-to-vein” chain of blood transfusion.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Guidelines on Blood Donor Selection and Blood Donor Deferral. National Blood Transfusion Council and NationalAIDS Control Organisation. 2017. Available from: http://nbtc.naco.gov.in/assets/resources/policy/Letter-reg-guidelines-for-blood-donor-selection&referral-2017.pdf. [Last accessed on 2020 Mar 16].  Back to cited text no. 1
AABB Blood Donation Process. Available from: http://aabb.org/ tm/donation/Pages/bdprocess.aspx. [Last accessed on 2020 Mar 16].  Back to cited text no. 2
World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.) & International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. (2014). Blood donor counselling: implementation guidelines. World Health Organization. https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/163001. [Last accessed on 2020 Mar 16].  Back to cited text no. 4
Glynn SA, Smith JW, Schreiber GB, Kleinman SH, Nass CC, Bethel J, et al. Repeat whole-blood and plateletpheresis donors: unreported deferrable risks, reactive screening tests, andresponse to incentive programs. Transfusion 2001;41:736-43.  Back to cited text no. 5
Abolghasemi H, Hosseini-Divkalayi NS, Seighali F. Blood donor incentives: A step forward or backward. Asian J Transfus Sci 2010;4:9-13.  Back to cited text no. 6
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