How do people become plasma and platelet donors in a VNR context?

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Abstract

Background:

The demand for therapeutic plasma-derived products poses a challenge to blood collection agencies (BCAs). In 2014–2015, the volume of plasma sent for fractionation met 17.7% of Quebec's needs for immunoglobulins. This article aims to offer an exploration of the paths blood donors follow in order to become plasma and platelet donors (PPDs).

Study Design and Method:

This analysis is based on semi-structured interviews with 50 PPDs in Quebec, Canada. Our analysis focused on the occurrence of events and the presence of contextual elements identified through: (1) factual data on PPDs; and (2) what PPDs identified as being an influence on their donation experience. This information was synthesized using a typology of trajectories.

Results:

Six typical trajectories have been distinguished, first by the presence (19/50 respondents) or absence (31/50) of blood donation as a family tradition. Of the latter 31 donors, some pointed instead to inherited family values as having a significant influence on their commitment (11/31). Donors' careers were then distinguished as having started early (34) or late (16). Sub-types then appeared with the addition of other contextual elements, motivation profiles, and circumstances under which the conversion to apheresis donation occurred.

Conclusion:

Our findings suggest the existence of diversified donor trajectories, and confirm the importance of conducting more in-depth analyses of the sequence of events occurring along PPDs career. BCAs should develop strategies carefully tailored to different potential clienteles if they wish to convert whole blood donors to apheresis donation, and also focus on recruiting and retaining young PPDs.

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