Sehrish Khurshid, Rabbia Tariq, Javeria Qureshi, Farmanullah Shah


Background: Donor selection is an important step for safe blood transfusion. The objectives of this study were to determine prevalence of blood donor deferral and its distribution by sex, type of deferral and causes in population of Karachi, Pakistan.

Materials & Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted at Department of Pathology, Hamdard University, Karachi, Pakistan from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020. Hamdard University Hospital, Karachi is assumed to cater 1.5 million population. With 1% donors, population at risk was 15,000. With 10% donor deferral, 1.073% margin of error and 95% confidence interval, sample size was calculated as 2,503. The technique was consecutive non-probability. Sex, age in years, weight, temperature, blood pressure and pulse were noted. Tests for CBC, blood grouping, hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV, malaria and syphilis were done. Donor selection criteria included age range 18-60 years, weight ≥50 kg, pulse rate 60-100/ min, systolic blood pressure 101-150 mmHg, diastolic blood pressure 60-100 mmHg, temperature ≤99◦F, hemoglobin ≥13.0 g/dl for men and ≥12.5g/dl for women. All categorical variables were analyzed by count and percentage with 80%CI.

Results: Out of 2,503 donors, 2,493 (99.7%) were men and 10 (0.3%) women. Frequency of deferral was 139 (5.5533%), including 129 (5.1538%) men and 10 (0.3995%) women and 58 (2.3172%) temporary and 81 (3.2361%) permanent. Causes of temporary deferral were; anemia 33 (1.3184%), low weight 8 (0.3196%), acute infection and on medication each 5 (0.1998%), donation of blood in last 8 weeks 4 (0.1598%) and hypotension 3 (0.1198%) cases. Causes of permanent deferral were; HCV 32 (1.2784%), HBV 30 (1.1985%), syphilis 17 (0.6792%), HIV and diabetes mellitus each one (0.04%) case.

Conclusion: Prevalence of blood donor deferral was 5.55% in our study, which is almost half of all the cited studies here from global, regional, national and local populations. Prevalence in men was many times higher than women and prevalence of permanent causes was higher than temporary causes. Anemia and HCV were the two major causes of deferral in our study. Proper donor selection is a key of safe blood transfusion. Appropriate measures are needed to prevent causes of deferral.


Blood Donors; Blood Donation; Blood Transfusion; Anemia; Hepatitis B; Hepatitis C; Syphilis; Hypotension; Diabetes Mellitus.

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