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Transfusion. 2004 May;44(5):658-66.

The donor notification process from the donor's perspective.

Author information

1
Westat, Rockville, Maryland, USA. skleinman@shaw.ca

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Despite large numbers of blood donors being notified of abnormal infectious disease screening results, there has been little scientific study of the effects of this process.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS:

With a 28-item questionnaire, an anonymous mail survey was conducted of 4141 blood donors notified of 15 distinct categories of abnormal infectious disease screening and confirmatory test results.

RESULTS:

The survey had a 42 percent response rate, and 10 percent of the respondents did not recall being notified of their results. Of the 1556 respondents who recalled being notified, 27 percent contacted the blood center for further information, 60 percent discussed their results with a health care provider, and 73 percent of permanently or indefinitely deferred donors correctly understood their deferral status. Confusion and emotional upset were reported in 81 and 75 percent of notified donors, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

The notification process appears to achieve most of its aims in the majority of donors. Nevertheless, some donors did not understand that they were ineligible for future donation, and many donors were confused and upset. These data indicate that the adverse impact of notifying donors about abnormal test results needs to be considered when new blood donor screening tests and confirmatory algorithms are being licensed and implemented. Further studies of the effectiveness of newer revised donor notification materials are needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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