Negative donation experiences, like being deferred or experiencing an adverse reaction, might upset blood donors, resulting in anticipatory stress responses such as elevated blood pressure at the subsequent visit. We therefore explored associations between blood donors’ negative donation experiences and their blood pressure at the subsequent visit.Study Design and Methods
Blood pressure of donors with no history of negative experiences in three consecutive donations was compared to the blood pressure of donors with a negative experience during the second of the three donations. Blood pressure (systolic and diastolic) measured prior to the third donation was compared between the two groups, using linear regression analyses. Two types of negative experiences (adverse reactions and deferral) were analysed, stratifying for donation type and sex, and adjusting for age and predonation blood pressure at baseline.Results
In total, 248 118 (50% female) donors were included in the analyses. Eleven per cent (26 380 donors, 61% female) had experienced a negative experience. Fainting and dizziness were associated with significant (P < 0·05) increases in systolic blood pressure: in men, 3·0 mmHg (fainting) and 2·0 mmHg (dizziness); in women, 2·0 mmHg (fainting) and 1·4 mmHg (dizziness). Deferral was associated with significant (P < 0·05) increases in both systolic (men: 0·7 mmHg, women: 0·3 mmHg) and diastolic (men: 0·2 mmHg, women: 0·3 mmHg) blood pressure.Conclusion
Whole blood donations with negative experiences were associated with a statistically significant higher predonation blood pressure at the subsequent visit. This indicates that negative experiences might cause an anticipatory stress reaction in a subsequent donation.