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Awareness weeks guide

Health Awareness Week

World Blood Donor Day

14 June 2023

Every year countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day (WBDD), (which is part of National Blood Donor Week). The event serves to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood. WHO

For information about donating blood please visit Australian Red Cross Lifeblood











Regular high-frequency whole blood donation and risk of cardiovascular disease in middle-aged and older blood donors in Australia
The authors did not observe a statistically significant reduction of CVD risk in regular, high-frequency WB donors when adjusted for potential confounders. Transfusion 14 April 2023

Perceived risk of HIV transmission by blood transfusion among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) in Australia
This study suggests Australian gbMSM are generally comfortable with answering more detailed questions regarding sexual activity during the assessment to donate, indicating they would do so honestly. gbMSM are knowledgeable about the window period (WP) duration, important for their ability to correctly self-assess their HIV risk. However, half of participants incorrectly assessed the transmissibility by blood transfusion from an HIV positive person with an undetectable viral load, suggesting the need for a targeted education campaign. Transfusion 9 June 2023

Next generation sequencing to identify iron status and individualise blood donors’ experience
This study, identified gene variants involved in iron homeostasis using a custom sequencing panel and analysed their association with ferritin levels in a young male blood donor population. Additional studies of factors associated with iron deficiency in blood donors are required if a goal of personalised blood donation protocols is to be achieved. Blood transfusion 10 March 2023

Screening platelet function in blood donors
The bleeding questionnaire proved to be a valuable tool to screen blood donors for potential  platelet defects. Platelet dysfunction was rare in the blood donor population assessed. Additional studies are necessary to understand the clinical impact that the transfusion of platelets with qualitative defects has on recipients. Transfusion 24 June 2022

Reducing unnecessary red blood cell transfusion in hospitalised patients
What you need to know

  • Red blood cell (RBC) transfusions are frequently overused, and are associated with increased risk of patient harm and added healthcare costs, without conferring additional value
  • Evidence from clinical trials shows that restrictive transfusion strategies (transfusing one unit at a time, and using a lower haemoglobin threshold) do not increase morbidity or mortality among diverse populations of hospitalised patients
  • A variety of interventions are shown to reduce the rate of inappropriate RBC transfusions, including audit and feedback, clinician education, organisational policy change, and clinical decision support tools.

BMJ 6 April 2021

Deferral of blood donor due to low Hb and Viral infections
The aim of the study was to investigate the total deferral blood donor cases due to the low Hb and the viral infections. The present study was concluded Blood donors are crucial in maintaining an adequate supply of blood for transfusion. However, some donors may be deferred due to low hemoglobin (Hb) levels or viral infections, which can impact the availability of blood. European Chemical Bulletin 13 May 2023

Monitoring syphilis serology in blood donors: Is there utility as a surrogate marker of early transfusion transmissible infection behavioral risk?
Rising syphilis rates in donors correlates with the general population epidemic. Recent infection rates rose similarly in males and females. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) history may contribute to donor syphilis rates but shortening time deferrals appears unrelated. Transfusion 9 May 2023

The healthy donor effect and survey participation, becoming a donor and donor career
The authors provide evidence that blood donation is associated with increased likelihood to participate in health surveys, possibly a manifestation of the HDE. Furthermore, becoming a blood donor, donor retention, and donation intensity was associated with better self-reported health and healthier lifestyles. Transfusion 8 December 2022

Cold storage of whole blood in an additive solution containing apoptotic and necrotic inhibitors
Treatment of hemorrhagic shock with Whole blood (WB) transfusion is logistically simpler than component therapy. Results from our study suggest that refrigerated WB stored with an additive solution (AS) containing apoptotic and necrotic inhibitors helps better preserve platelet count but does not improve platelet function. The future development of WB ASs is warranted to optimize both platelet quality and hemostatic function. Transfusion 27 April 2023

Mortality among patients undergoing blood transfusion in relation to donor sex and parity: A natural experiment
Patients undergoing transfusion with blood from female or parous donors did not have a higher mortality compared with patients undergoing transfusion with blood from male donors; however, female blood units tended to have lower hemoglobin content. JAMA 13 June 2022

Effect of plasma and blood donations on levels of Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl substances in firefighters in Australia: A randomized clinical trial
Plasma and blood donations caused greater reductions in serum PFAS levels than observation alone over a 12-month period. Further research is needed to evaluate the clinical implications of these findings. JAMA 8 April 2022

Association of blood donor sex and age with outcomes in very low-birth-weight infants receiving blood transfusion
These findings suggest that RBC transfusion from female donors, particularly older female donors, is associated with a lower risk of death or serious morbidity in very low-birth-weight (VLBW) infants receiving transfusion. Larger studies confirming these findings and examining potential mechanisms are warranted. JAMA 3 September 2021 __________________________________________________________________________________


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