Current perceptions of Canadian autologous blood donors

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Abstract

Background and Objectives

We determined the perceptions and motivations of autologous donors to establish their regard for this process and the new blood system established in 1999 in Canada.

Materials and Methods

Patients were surveyed before and after orthopaedic, cardiac, urological or gynecological procedures.

Results

Patients (n = 100; 57 men and 43 women) ranged in age from 19 to 83 years. Most had finished high school, and 21 had a university degree. Eighty-four had undergone previous surgery and 27 a previous transfusion. Fifty-one had been blood donors and 17 had been autologous donors. Specialists suggested donation to 78 of the patients. Seventy-two participated because they knew that their blood would be there. Three had a mistrust of the blood provider. Sixty-six believed that there is still a risk of receiving contaminated blood. Sixty-nine thought any risk was ≥ 1 in 100 000; however, 16 thought the risk was < 1 in 1000.

Results

Postsurgery, 83 were happy to have donated their blood and 77 would do it again. Many felt that it improved their outcome. Most felt an increased sense of safety. Eighty-three patients were confident that the Canadian blood system had improved, but 17 were unsure.

Conclusions

Concern about the safety of the allogeneic blood supply still drives the wish to autodonate. The process gives patients a sense of control and security. A large proportion of people felt that the Canadian blood system had improved, as determined by this 2003 study.

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