Rates of Vaso-Vagal Reactions Among First Time Teenaged Whole Blood, Double Red Cell, and Plateletpheresis Donors

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Given the paucity of published data regarding reaction rates in younger teenaged donors, we evaluated the reaction rates in all of our first time teenaged donors after New York Blood Center lowered the minimum permissible age for blood donations from 17 to 16 yr in 2005. The overall rates of vaso-vagal reactions in donors aged 16 to 19, and those resulting in syncope, occurring in 72,769 consecutive first time whole blood, 3,822 double red cell, and 777 platelet apheresis donations were calculated. They were correlated with age and compared to those found in donors aged 20-29. Separate rates were calculated by gender, age in yr, and donation type, and then compared to each other. The overall reaction rate among first time teenaged whole blood donors was 8.2% and was significantly greater than among plateletpheresis donors (4.0%; p <0.0002). The rate in female whole blood donors (10.0%) was significantly higher than in males (6.4%; p <0.0002). In male double red cell donors the overall reaction rate of 3.5% was significantly lower than that found in male whole blood donors (p <0.002). Among both male and female whole blood donors a significant correlation with decreasing donor age between 19 and 16 yr was found (r2 = 0.981; p = 0.01) and (r2 = 0.988; p = 0.006), respectively. We conclude that teenaged donors have increased reaction rates when compared to adults and the reaction rates increase with decreasing age. In addition, females have higher reaction rates than males. Finally, reaction rates associated with apheresis donations are significantly lower than those associated with whole blood donations.

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