Critical evaluation of informed consent forms for adult and minor aged whole blood donation used by United States blood centers

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Blood donation is a medical procedure with attendant risks, and thus blood donors should undergo acceptable informed consent. There are no guidelines for the informed consent forms (ICFs) for whole blood donors or for parental consent forms (PCFs) for minor age blood donors. The goal of the study was to determine if the majority of the generally accepted elements of informed consent are provided to volunteer allogeneic whole blood donors in the United States.


ICFs and PCFs along with their accompanying general information forms (GIFs) from nonmilitary blood collection establishments for allogeneic whole blood donation were collected throughout the United States and scored using a system based on the essential elements of informed consent derived from guidelines of consent for research subjects. The overall score for each ICF and PCF was obtained.


Twenty-one ICFs and 37 PCFs from 48 states representing major collection centers within the United States were scored. The mean score for the common essential elements ICFs was 35 percent (range, 10%-80%) and for PCFs was 46 percent (range, 10%-90%).


None of the whole blood allogeneic donation informed consents surveyed contained all the common essential or specific blood donation information desired. There is a need for national guidelines for the informed consent process for both the donor and the parent of a minor to ensure adequate information is specified.

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