Author(s): Prados Madrona D, Fernndez Herrera MD, Prados Jimnez D, Gmez Giraldo S, Robles Campos R
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Women seem more willing to donate blood than men despite the limitations that affect their donation rate. The aim of our study was to determine the role of women in altruistic donation of blood in Huelva, a province in south-western Spain. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We registered 87,601 offers to donate whole blood between January 1st, 2005 and December 31st, 2009. We statistically analysed variables such as sex, age, offers, deferrals and donations, problems in venous access, vasovagal reactions, weight and blood pressure to establish their significance according to donor gender. RESULTS: With regards to gender, 52.3\% of donors were women and 47.7\% men. Of the 87,601 offers to donate blood, 46.5\% were from females and 53.5\% from males. More females than males made their first donation during the study period. However, 43.9 \% of donations were from women, whereas 56.1\% were from men. Overall 8.7\% of offers were deferred, 62.7\% of which due to a low haemoglobin concentration, which was the most frequent cause of deferral in women. Difficulties in venous access and vasovagal reactions were also more frequent in female donors than in male donors. By the end of the study period, donor fidelity was 58.6\% for men and 48.6\% for women. DISCUSSION: In the province of Huelva, women are more altruistically inclined than men to give blood, with the percentages of donors and first-time donors being higher among females. However, there are restrictions to women giving blood, especially low haemoglobin concentration, which reduce the number of female blood donations. Women also have more difficulty when blood is withdrawn and are more susceptible to vasovagal reactions, which negatively affect their experience as donors. Measures should be taken to reduce these barriers to encourage women to continue to offer to donate blood, thereby ensuring that they become regular donors, which is a key factor in guaranteeing an adequate supply of blood within the region of Andalusia.
This article was published in Blood Transfus
and referenced in Occupational Medicine & Health Affairs