Monitoring the Causes of Blood Donation Deferrals among Prospective Blood Donors in Northwest Region of Pakistan


  • Noor e Saba
  • Muhammad Nisar
  • Jamal Abdul Nasir
  • Usman Waheed Islamabad Blood Transfusion Authority
  • Amnah Shaukat



Blood, Safety, Donation, Deferral, Pakistan


Objective: To evaluate and monitor the causes of blood donor deferrals at a Regional Blood Centre in northwest Pakistan.

Methodology: This was a retrospective study of blood donor deferrals at the Regional Blood Centre in Peshawar. The blood donor data were extracted from the ZAAVIA blood transfusion information system (BTIS) database. The information and data expropriated from the database comprised of those from donor medical history questionnaire, physical examination (e.g. haemoglobin estimation), TTI screening results, and a decision on deferral (temporary and permanent).

Results: The study included a total of 42,570 potential donors presented for blood donation over a four years period (June 2016 – May 2020), out of which 41,817 donors met the inclusion criteria and donated blood. The total deferral rate was 6.37% (n=2,682). Among these deferred donors, 44.44% (n=1,192) were deferred temporarily whereas 55.56% (n=1,490) were deferred permanently. The leading causes of temporary deferrals included syphilis (14.16%), low haemoglobin (8.28%), and underweight (5.97%). On the other hand, hepatitis B (30.38%) was the main cause of permanent deferral followed by hepatitis C (21.59%). The general percentage of deferrals was higher among those less than 32 years of age (P<0.001), were females (P<0.001), and were first-time blood donors (P<0.001).

Conclusion: Blood donor deferral was responsible for 6.37% of all blood donations. The findings of the current study demands adequate preventive strategies to address the prevailing causes of deferrals such as low haemoglobin levels and infections with HBV and HCV.





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