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Vox Sang. 2010 Aug 1;99(2):142-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1423-0410.2010.01320.x. Epub 2010 Mar 1.

Psychological and behavioural impacts of the 2008 China earthquake on blood donors.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, 600 N Wolfe St., Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.



On May 12, 2008, a severe earthquake hit Sichuan province in China. A post-earthquake survey was conducted to study the earthquake's effect on blood donor behaviour and stress at three blood centres at varying distances from the epicentre.


A questionnaire was developed to assess donor post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) and attitudes toward giving blood. Responses were compared by centre and donor characteristics using multivariate logistic regression techniques.


Of all 17 456 donors, the overall prevalence of PTSD was 13.2%. Donors who knew someone killed or injured by the earthquake were 2.1 times more likely to have PTSD than others (95% CI: 1.8-2.4). 85.2% of donors cited the earthquake as their reason for donating. 16.1% of donors felt it acceptable to be less honest about one's health history in an emergency. After adjusting for PTSD, geographic and demographic characteristics, the donors knowing someone killed or injured by the earthquake were 1.4 times (95% CI: 1.2-1.7) more likely to cite the earthquake as reason for donating, and 1.8 times (95% CI: 1.5-2.1) more likely to accept being less honest about one's health history in case of national emergency.


The psychological and behavioural impacts of the earthquake on blood donors extended far from the epicentre. After a disaster, it is important to emphasize that donors must be truthful on the donor questionnaire as some donors appear willing to be less than honest when they perceive an increased need for blood products.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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