Recruitment & Retention of Blood Donors

Blood Donor Recruitment

IBTO implemented a long term plan to achieve 100% voluntary blood donation and has been successful to achieve this goal and excluded all replacement donations since 2007.

These activities include:

  • Raising public awareness about the importance of blood donation via media, elites and face to face training;
  • Training the staff on recruitment and retention of blood donors and developing partnerships with non-governmental organizations such as National Red Crescent Society (NRCS);
  • Publishing brochures, books and CDs to promote blood donation, especially among the students and women;
  • Adding certain topics on blood and blood donation importance to educational programs of primary and middle schools;
  • Publishing and distributing of educational pamphlets for regular blood donors biannually;
  • Implementing a short term iron supplementation program for female blood donors since 2006;
  • Trial run of an online appointment program and an online application to show the nearest location of blood center in one of the blood centers in Tehran  since 2014 and planning for national implementation;

Currently, in house blood donation sites are 200 that 109 of them are blood collection centers, 57 are blood collection and preparation centers and 34 are main blood centers.  These centers collect 80% of blood and the rest is collected by 82 mobile teams collecting blood in work places, educational institutes and cities which are not served by fixed sites.

Select and Retain Safe Blood Donors

The most important strategy to ensure a safe and adequate supply of blood and its components is selection and retention of safe blood donors.

Considering the spread of Transfusion Transmitted Infections (TTI), IBTO developed stringent criteria for selection of safe donors as follows:

  • Founding blood collection centers at low risk places;
  • Checking blood donors’ identity cards before donation;
  • Providing informative and educational materials about risk factors and the importance of safe blood donations in general population;
  • Encouraging safer groups to donate;
  • Screening via interviews, questionnaires and brief physical examinations done by trained physicians before donation; and call back after donation;
  • Having implemented a uniform self-deferral procedure since 1997 and a confidential unit exclusion program since 2002;
  • Intensifying training efforts to increase public knowledge on TTI and improvement in automation system;
  • In order to maintain safe blood donors, IBTO implemented the following strategies:
  • Establishing a computerized donor record system, kept strictly confidential;
  • Providing appropriate blood donor care and donor call back, in cases of post-transfusion infections;
  • Appreciating blood donors on some special occasions such as World Blood Donor Day and National Blood Transfusion Day;        

IBTO has always followed the strategy of increasing blood donor's satisfaction by establishment of donor vigilance systems. Donor vigilance is the systematic monitoring of adverse reactions and incidents in blood donor care.

In this regard all adverse reactions in blood donors have been recorded since 2013; Major advances have been made in evaluating preventive measures and in determination of risk factors for conditions such as vasovagal reaction and other adverse reactions.

Our goals include:

  • Improving donor satisfaction.
  • Increasing donation frequency.
  • Reducing the frequency of adverse events.
  • Reducing donor injury.
  • Reducing donation related disability.

All these activities have led to an increase in the number regular donations up to 50.8% in 2012;