Global Journal of Transfusion Medicine

LETTER TO EDITOR
Year
: 2021  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 245--246

Evaluation of effect of COVID-19 pandemic on voluntary blood donors and their donation practices: A survey-based cross-sectional study


Seema Dua1, Satyam Arora1, Harmesh Manocha2, Pratap Chandnani3,  
1 Department of Transfusion Medicine, Super Speciality Pediatric Hospital and Post Graduate Teaching Institute, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Microbiology, Government Institute of Medical Sciences, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Green Shakti Foundation, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Seema Dua
Department of Transfusion Medicine, Super Speciality Pediatric Hospital and Post Graduate Teaching Institute, Noida, Uttar Pradesh
India




How to cite this article:
Dua S, Arora S, Manocha H, Chandnani P. Evaluation of effect of COVID-19 pandemic on voluntary blood donors and their donation practices: A survey-based cross-sectional study.Glob J Transfus Med 2021;6:245-246


How to cite this URL:
Dua S, Arora S, Manocha H, Chandnani P. Evaluation of effect of COVID-19 pandemic on voluntary blood donors and their donation practices: A survey-based cross-sectional study. Glob J Transfus Med [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Jun 26 ];6:245-246
Available from: https://www.gjtmonline.com/text.asp?2021/6/2/245/331619


Full Text



Dear Editor,

Consistent safe blood supply for any region is mainly based on the voluntary blood donations. In India, the total blood donation in 2018–2019 was 12.2 million, 7.2 million being collected by NACO supported blood banks and 76% of which were from voluntary blood donors.[1] During COVID pandemic, maintaining adequate inventory of blood and various components has been a great challenge. We conducted this cross-sectional survey using a Google questionnaire in a Government Pediatric Super Speciality Hospital in North India, to study factors that play an important role in inhibiting/motivating donors to donate blood during pandemic. The study was conducted during July–August 2020 after institutional ethics committee approval.

The study included participation from voluntary donors who donated either whole blood or platelets at least twice during March 2019 to February 2020 at our blood center. The donors who came in contact with COVID-19–positive person or themselves turned COVID-19 positive were excluded. Eligible respondents were further categorized into two groups – Group A: Voluntary donors who donated blood/platelets at our center during the pandemic; Group B: Voluntary donors who did not donate during pandemic.

Out of total 146 respondents/donors, 106 were eligible to be included in the study as per the study criteria (Group A - 52; Group B - 54). Both the groups were demographically similar, but Group A donors had higher mean number of past donations (Group A - 12.6 vs. Group B - 6.0). Awareness regarding modes of COVID-19 transmission was the same (>80%) in both groups, but 13% of the respondents of Group B also attributed blood transfusion as one of the modes of spread. In Group B, 29.6% were also worried about acquiring infection even after safety measures in place (mask, sanitization, and social distancing) as compared to 9.6% of Group A. Many donors (79.2%) were aware of scarcity of blood during pandemic through social media (100%), telephonic communication from blood bank (Group A: B - 46.1%:24.0%) and messages from donor mobile app (Group A: B - 36.5%:14.8%) as source for information. [Table 1] describes the hurdles and perception of risk by both the groups.{Table 1}

Our study showed that donors with history of higher mean number of donations in the past were more likely to donate during pandemic. A similar observation has been made by Ou-Yang et al.[2] (China) and Sayedahmed et al.[3] (Sudan). Our study observed that perception of acquiring infection was comparatively higher in Group B. Other studies also observed fear of acquiring infection (60.6%–81.2%), travel restrictions (32.5%), lowering of immune defense postdonation (14.1%), and fear of needle prick infection (1.2%) as the main causes of lapsing from blood donation during pandemic.[3],[4]

As COVID-19 is a new disease, personal communication through healthcare personnel can help to alleviate myths and fears as seen from our study, as more of Group A than Group B received personal communications. Even during nonpandemic time, personal communication regarding need of blood was considered better mode of information by voluntary donors and was a motivational factor for 29.2% donors.[5]

As all donors may not be affirmative during pandemics/emergency situations – enhancing and retaining donor pool with imparting knowledge and recent updates about new diseases by blood banks can help maintain voluntary donations in the times of crises.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

References

1Annual Report 2018-2019. National AIDS Control Organization, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Available from: https://main.mohfw.gov.in/sites/default/files/24%20Chapter%20496AN2018-19.pd. [Last accessed on 2021 Apr 19].
2Ou-Yang J, Li SJ, Bei CH, He B, Chen JY, Liang HQ, et al. Blood donor recruitment in Guangzhou, China, during the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic. Transfusion 2020;60:2597-610.
3Sayedahmed AM, Ali KA, Ali SB, Ahmed HS, Shrif FS, Ali NA. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and decrease in blood donation: A cross-sectional study from Sudan. ISBT Sci Ser 2020;15:381-5.
4Wang Y, Han W, Pan L, Wang C, Liu Y, Hu W, et al. Impact of COVID-19 on blood centres in Zhejiang province China. Vox Sang 2020;115:502-6.
5Uma S, Arun R, Arumugam P. The knowledge, attitude and practice towards blood donation among voluntary blood donors in Chennai, India. J Clin Diagn Res 2013;7:1043-6.