An Evaluation of Donor Deferrals in A Blood Bank of a Tertiary Care Hospital

A 3½-Year Study

  • Shweta Pai East Point College of Medical Sciences
  • Shiv Kumar Chabba East Point College of Medical Sciences
Keywords: Blood donation, Deferred donors, Temporary and Permanent causes of deferral


Background: Blood transfusion is a crucial life-saving procedure that has become an integral component of modern medicine. It is therefore, imperative that the supply chain of blood to blood banks be optimized so as to meet the minimum demand of patients. This goal can be readily achieved by forming a safe reduction policy in the deferral rate of potential donors. The aim of this study was to explore the various causes for donor deferrals and to assess their frequency over the past 3½ years in a blood bank of a tertiary care hospital in Bangalore city. Methods: The data for the current retrospective study was collected over a period of 3 years 6 months from October 2015 to March 2019. Donors were asked to fill in a questionnaire followed by physical examination and blood screening tests. Results: Out of 2942 potential blood donors, only 2781 were accepted while the remaining 161 were deferred, the deferral rate being 5.5%. The age group of the deferred donors ranged from 18 to 49 years old, the highest being between 21-30 years old. There was a total of 119 temporary deferrals and 42 permanent deferrals. The most common cause for temporary and permanent deferral was found to be hypertension and sero-positivity for HBV antigen, respectively.   Conclusion:   In descending order of frequency, the most common causes for permanent deferrals were transfusion transmitted infection, hepatitis-B, Hepatitis-C and HIV and that for temporary deferrals were hypertension, alcohol consumption and anaemia.  By identification of the causes for temporary deferrals, appropriate measures can be put in place to motivate these potential donors to return for blood donation at a later date after the underlying cause has been rectified.

Author Biographies

Shweta Pai, East Point College of Medical Sciences
Department of Pathology
Shiv Kumar Chabba, East Point College of Medical Sciences
Department of Pathology


1. Rabeya Y, Rapiaah M, Rosline H. Blood pre-donation deferrals-a teaching hospital experience. Southeast Asian J Trop Med public Health 2008;39(3):571-4.
2. Unnikrishnan B, Rao P, Kumar N et al. Profile of blood donors and reasons for deferral in coastal South India. AMJ 2011;4(7):379-85.
3. P Sundar, SK Sangeetha, DM Seema et al. Pre-donation deferral of blood donors in South Indian set-up: An analysis. Asian J Transfus Sci 2010;4(2):112-5.
4. Meinia S K, Sawhney V. Analysis of Donor Deferral Rate and its Various Causes in Voluntary and Replacement Blood Donors in Jammu, India. Int J Health Sci Res 2016;6(1):49-56.
5. Kate MS, Jain P, Patil CK. An audit of deferral of blood donors at a tertiary care hospital. Res J Pharmaceut Biol Chem Sci 2013;4(3):1556–63.
6. Agnihotri N. Whole blood donor deferral analysis at a center in Western India. Asian J Transfus Sci 2010;4(2):116–22.
7. Lim JC, Tien SL, and Ong YW. Main causes of pre-dona¬tion deferral of prospective blood donors in the Singapore Blood Transfusion Service. Annals of the Academy of Medi¬cine, Singapore 1993; 22(3):326-31.
8. Chaudhary RK, Gupta D, Gupta RK. Analysis of donor‑deferral pattern in a voluntary blood donor population. Transfus Med 1995;5:209‑12.
9. Bashawri L. A review of predonation blood donor deferrals in a university hospital. J Fam Community Med 2005;12(2):79-84.
10. Valerian DM, Mauka WI, Kajeguka DC et al. Prevalence and causes of blood donor deferrals among clients presenting for blood donation in northern Tanzania. PLoS ONE 13(10): e0206487.
11. Ngoma AM, Goto A, Nollet KE et al. Blood Donor Deferral among Students in Northern Japan: Challenges Ahead. Transfus Med Hemother 2014;41:251–6.
12. Kouao MD, Dembele B, N’Goran et al., Reasons for blood donation deferral in sub-Saharan Africa: experience in ivory coast. Transfusion 2012;52(702):1-9.
13. Madan N, Qadiri J, Akhtar F. Study of blood donor profile in a tertiary care teaching hospital. Journal of the Academy of Hospital Administration. 2005;17(2):31-4.
14. Singh B, Kataria SP, Gupta R.Infectious markers in blood donors of East Delhi: prevalence and trends.Indian J Pathol Microbiol. 2004;47(4):477-9.
15. Kaur G, Basu S, Kaur R, Kaur P, Garg S. Patterns of infections among blood donors in a tertiary care centre: A retrospective study. Natl Med J India. 2010;23(3):147-9.
16. Choudary N, Phadke S. Transfusion transmitted diseases. Indian J Pediatr. 2001;68:951-8.
17. Department of AIDS Control, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Annual Report 2009-10 p.4 [Online]. Available from@ 10/NACO_AR_English%20corrected.pdf.
18. Arslan O. Whole blood donor deferral rate and characteristics of the Turkish population. Tranfus Med. 2007;17:379-83.
19. Halperin D, Baetens J, Newman B. The effect of short term, temporary deferral on future blood donations. Transfusion 1998;38:181-3.
20. Charles KS, Hughes P, Gadd R, Bodkyn CJ, Rodriquez M. Evaluation of blood donor deferral causes in the Trinidad and Tobago National Blood Transfusion Service. Transfus Med. 2010;20(1):11-4.
21. Chenna D, Shastry S, Murugesan M, Baliga PB. Implication of deferral pattern on the donor pool: Study at a Tertiary Care Hospital. J Appl Hematol 2015;6:111-4.
22. Kapse V, Agrawal A, Gahine R, Bhaskar V. The Evaluation of Predonation Blood Donor Deferrals in a Tertiary Care Center: A 3-year Study. Int J Sci Stud 2019;6(12):36-40.
23. Malhotra P, Kumari S, Kumar R, Varma S. Prevalence of anemia in adult rural population of north India. Journal of Association of Physicians of India. 2004;52:18-20.
24. Simon TL, Garry PJ, Hooper EM. Iron stores in blood donors. JAMA. 1981;245(20):2038–43.
25. Saran RK. Transfusion Medicine Technical Manual. 2nd ed. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare: Drugs Controller General, India, Directorate General of Health Services, MoHFW, Govt. of India; 2003.
Original Article