Blood center's high-tech help for US's blood shortage

SEATTLE Feb. 16 Research published in Transfusion reveals that e-mail is an effective way of both attaining new whole-blood donors and increasing donations from current participants. Over the measurement period, new donors with e-mail addresses increased by 74%, while those without e-mail addresses grew only 2%.

Over a period of five years, the Puget Sound Blood Center (of the AABB which provides regional blood services) collected e-mail addresses from donors and added them to a periodic e-mail list in an attempt to increase donations. Daily notifications and e-mail reminders as to when they are eligible to donate again have proved the most effective. Nearly 15,000 potential donors were also contacted as a result of donors passing along Blood Center e-mails to their friends and family.

"The 40-to 59-year-old age group is the largest, representing 45% of all donors, followed by 20- to 39-years-old donors at 31%, and an even 12% for the youngest and oldest groups," states researcher Maria Elena Geyer. While the younger generation donors are more difficult to reach (either do not have e-mail addresses or do not provide them), the middle-aged community has been most responsive. Overall, this has had a positive effect as they are the largest group.

In the future, e-mail will be a steadfast way to remind current donors and attain new donors (especially young donors). Techniques such as "Bring a Friend Day" and sports partnered events will also be used.


This study is published in Transfusion. Media wishing to receive a PDF of the study please contact [email protected].

Maria Elena Geyer is Vice President, Donor Services Group at the Puget Sound Blood Center in Seattle, Washington. She has also been involved in Blood Banking for more than 20 years and is recognized nationally as on e of the leading Donor and Volunteer Directors. She was recipient of American Association of Blood Banks' Chapman Franzmeier Memorial Award at AABB's 2005 Conference. Media wishing to contact Maria Elena Geyer can reach her at (206) 617-6006.

About Transfusion
Transfusion is the leading publication for new information regarding transfusion medicine. It is written by both healthcare workers and former members of AABB. It primary focuses on the latest technical advances, conference proceedings and discussed opposing viewpoints on controversial issues.

About the AABB
AABB is an international association of blood banks, including hospital and community blood centers, transfusion and transplantation services, and individuals involved in activities related to transfusion and transplantation medicine. Since its inception in 1947, AABB continues to support the highest standards of medical, technical and administrative performance, scientific investigation, clinical application and education. The association is dedicated to encouraging the voluntary donation of blood and other tissues and organs through education, public information and research.

About Blackwell Publishing
Blackwell Publishing is the world's leading society publisher, partnering with more than 665 academic, medical, and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 800 journals and, to date has published close to 6,000 text and reference books, across a wide range of academic, medical, and professional subjects.

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Apr 2016
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