Strategies to encourage repeated blood donation.

The National Blood Transfusion Council along with State Blood Transfusion Councils with support from IRCS or NGOs has to carry out extensive work for donor motivation and retention. Below are some of the findings and methods that can help recruit and retain blood donors.

Objective: Voluntary blood donation is perhaps one of the most perfect examples of altruism in action. The objective of collecting blood through voluntary blood donation are:
  • Session availability encourages donation.
  • Donor frequency and donor retention are largely determined by session availability.
  • All donors should be processed promptly. If people are forced to wait for unacceptable periods of time they perceive that staff to be inefficient. If beds are empty while people are waiting to donate, negative impressions tend to be reinforced.
  • Good treatment of donors promotes retention: donors must be treated as individuals. The manner in which thanks, rewards and recognition are offered has an effect on retention, as does giving more bedside care to first-time donors.
  • The aura of a professional and organized “medical” environment is also essential to maintain motivation. Donors tend to be put off if they have unpleased experiences, such as failed puncture of the vein or bruises or double pricks.
  • Continued reinforcement keeps donors involved: Donors should constantly be made to feel good about belonging to a select group of people. They must be educated about the need of blood, as the knowledge that blood donation is essential to prevent deaths is a strong motivation.
  • Written communication can be used to inform and educate but must appear in jargon-free language and not give the perception of wastage of blood through over collection.

Repeat blood donors perceive that there is a constant need for blood and approach blood donation with feelings of duty, responsibility and pride. They tend to feel that the service they receive from staff is professional, caring and appreciative, and are more willing to forgive or ignore any negative experiences they might have had.

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