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Attitude to blood donation in Saudi Arabia

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Author(s): Abdel Gader Abdel Galil | Osman Abdel Moniem | Al Gahtani Furgah | Farghali Mohamed | Ramadan Ali | Al-Momen Abdel Kareem

Journal: Asian Journal of Transfusion Science
ISSN 0973-6247

Volume: 5;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 121;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Attitude to blood donation | donor compensation | donor motivation | Saudi blood donors

ABSTRACT
Background and Objectives: The blood donor system in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia depends on a combination of voluntary and involuntary donors. The aim of this study is to explore the attitudes, beliefs and motivations of Saudis toward blood donation. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted at the Donor Centers at King Khalid University Hospital (KKUH) Blood Bank and King Saud University Students Health Center, Riyadh. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to donors (n = 517) and nondonors (n = 316), between February and June 2008. All were males. Results: Ninety-nine percent of the respondents showed positive attitude toward blood donations and its importance for patients care, and object the importation of blood from abroad. Blood donors: Ninety-one percent agree that that blood donation is a religious obligation, 91% think no compensation should be given, 63% will accept a token gift, 34% do not object to donating six times/year and 67% did not mind coming themselves to the donor center to give blood. Nondonors: Forty-six percent were not asked to give blood and those who were asked mentioned fear (5%) and lack of time (16%) as their main deterrents. Reasons for rejection as donors include underweight and age (71%) and health reasons (19%). Seventy-five percent objected to money compensation but 69% will accept token gifts and 92% will donate if a relative/friend needs blood. Conclusion: These results reflect an encouraging strong positive attitude toward blood donation. Further future planning with emphasis on educational/publicity programs and careful organization of donor recruitment campaigns could see the dream of total voluntary nonremunerated blood donations should not take long to be true.
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