National blood donor pool significantly smaller than previously thought

July 31, 2007

Minneapolis, Minn. - July 31, 2007 - According to a new study in TRANSFUSION, the number of individuals in the U.S. who are eligible to donate blood may be smaller than previously believed -- approximately 60 million fewer people. The new figures suggest that only 37 percent of the U.S. population is currently eligible to donate blood, and with anticipated demographic changes, that percentage is likely to drop.

"The conventional method of calculating eligible donors indicates that there are approximately 177 million eligible donors in the U.S. population," said Jeffrey McCullough, one of the world's leaders in transfusion medicine and blood banking. "This study indicates that only 111 million individuals in the U.S. are eligible to donate blood."

Efforts to ensure donor and recipient safety have reduced the population of eligible voluntary blood donors. The current method for determining eligible blood donors focuses exclusively on age criteria. The lower eligible donor pool estimates as described in this study are based on a more stringent model that excludes individuals from donation due to such factors as high-risk behavior, disease exposure, presence of chronic diseases and age.

"As additional donor restrictions are implemented and the population ages, the country could lose more and more willing donors, which could pose an even greater threat to our national blood supply," said Karen Shoos Lipton, chief executive officer of AABB. "Ensuring an adequate supply of blood is increasingly more challenging, and these new data suggest it is extremely important that eligible donors give blood more frequently."
-end-
This study is published in the July issue of TRANSFUSION. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article please contact medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net

Dr. Jeffrey McCullough is Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology; American Red Cross Chair, Transfusion Medicine; and Director of the Biomedical Engineering Institute; at the University of Minnesota. He can be reached for questions at mccul001@umn.edu.

TRANSFUSION is the foremost publication in the world for new information regarding transfusion medicine. Written by and for members of AABB and other health-care workers, TRANSFUSION reports on the latest technical advances, discusses opposing viewpoints regarding controversial issues and presents key conference proceedings. In addition to blood banking and transfusion medicine topics, TRANSFUSION presents submissions concerning tissue transplantation and hematopoietic, cellular, and gene therapies. For more information, please visit www.blackwellpublishing.com/trf.

About AABB

Established in 1947, AABB (formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks) is an international, not-for-profit association dedicated to the advancement of science and the practice of transfusion medicine and related biological therapies. The association is committed to improving health by developing and delivering standards, accreditation and educational programs and services to optimize patient and donor care and safety. AABB membership consists of approximately 1,800 institutions and 8,000 individuals, including physicians, scientists, administrators, medical technologists, nurses, researchers, blood donor recruiters and public relations personnel. Members are located in all 50 states and 80 countries.

Wiley-Blackwell was formed in February 2007 as a result of the merger between Blackwell Publishing Ltd. and John Wiley & Sons, Inc.'s Scientific, Technical, and Medical business. Together, the companies have created a global publishing business with deep strength in every major academic and professional field. Wiley-Blackwell publishes approximately 1,250 scholarly peer-reviewed journals and an extensive collection of books with global appeal. For more information on Wiley-Blackwell, please visit www.blackwellpublishing.com or http://interscience.wiley.com.

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Related Transfusion Articles from Brightsurf:

Critically ill infants given blood transfusions before surgery have poorer outcomes
Critically ill newborns who receive blood transfusions prior to surgery had about a 50% increased rate of complications or death than those who did not receive transfusions, according to a new study published today in Pediatrics by Nemours Children's Health System researchers.

New evidence to guide the practice of blood transfusions in children with severe malari
Blood transfusions increase the survival of children admitted to the hospital with complications by severe malaria, and could be beneficial even at higher haemoglobin levels than those currently recommended.

Trial clarifies use of blood transfusion in anaemic heart attack patients
Restricting blood transfusion in anaemic heart attack patients to those with very low haemoglobin levels saves blood with no negative impact on clinical outcomes.

Women with anemia twice as likely to need transfusion after cesarean delivery
Pregnant women with anemia are twice as likely to need blood transfusions after a cesarean delivery, as those without the condition, according to a study being presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2019 annual meeting.

Postpartum transfusions on the rise, carry greater risk of adverse events
Women who receive a blood transfusion after giving birth are twice as likely to have an adverse reaction related to the procedure, such as fever, respiratory distress, or hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells), compared with non-pregnant women receiving the same care, according to a new study published today in Blood Advances.

Are blood donor sex, pregnancy history and death of transfusion recipients associated?
Whether blood donors' sex and pregnancy history were associated with death for red blood cell transfusion recipients was investigated in this study that analyzed data from three study groups totaling more than 1 million transfusion recipients.

Red blood cell donor pregnancy history not tied to mortality after transfusion
A new study has found that the sex or pregnancy history of red blood cell donors does not influence the risk of death among patients who receive their blood.

Blood transfusion during liver cancer surgery linked with higher risk of cancer recurrence and death
Receiving a blood transfusion during curative surgery for the most common type of liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) is associated with a much higher risk of cancer recurrence and dying prematurely, according to new research being presented at this year's Euroanaesthesia congress.

Study: Denosumab effective in treating osteoporosis in transfusion dependent thalassemia
For patients with osteoporosis caused by transfusion-dependent thalassemia (TDT), a twice-yearly injection appears to improve spinal bone mineral density, according to a new study.

World's largest transfusion study in cardiac surgery changes transfusion practices
Lower thresholds for blood transfusions for cardiac surgery patients compared to traditional thresholds provide positive patient outcomes and safety at six months after surgery, according to the world's largest research study on this topic.

Read More: Transfusion News and Transfusion Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.