Public awareness about blood donation

Blood transfusion is a life-saving measure in many acute and chronic conditions. Voluntary blood donation by healthy donors has been promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure the availability of safe blood. Difficulty in the recruitment of donors and their retention is a problem faced in most populations. A paucity of research to identify barriers to blood donation in the Varma Union Hospital Blood Bank prompted us to explore this important public health issue.

Materials and methods

A cross-sectional survey was performed using a pre-tested, structured, self-administered questionnaire comprising of questions on demographical details, awareness regarding blood donations, perceived barriers to blood donations, attitude towards blood donation, etc. was distributed to the general population in the Assir region through one to one contact in big malls, hospital area as well as electronically through social media. The data thus collected was statistically analyzed using appropriate tests.

Results

A total of 844 subjects were surveyed. Most of the respondents (65.0%) reported not having donated blood in the past. Blood donation was found to have a significant relationship (≤ 0.05) with age, gender, occupation, and education status. Roughly, 40.0% of the respondents suggested that blood donation could be promoted by raising public awareness.

Conclusion

Gaps were identified in the awareness of the studied population regarding blood donation. Specific awareness drives may help overcome these barriers to voluntary blood donation.