Various research studies have demonstrated the frequency and risk factors for iron deficiency in blood donors. A recently updated AABB Association Bulletin and a risk-based decision management (RBDM) analysis recommended possible mitigation strategies for iron deficiency. Both of these documents recognize that there is no "one size fits all" solution to mitigate for donor iron deficiency. It is often difficult to make the leap from from research studies and possible strategies to actual implementation in a large blood center. Characteristics of the donor base and operational feasibility considerations contribute to choosing a particular strategy. Various prerequisites such as testing equipment and IT capabilities may be needed. As with any change in donor policies, messaging to donors and education of staff and community partners are important, and donation loss may impact the adequacy of supply if compensatory recruitment efforts are not made.
In this international session, we discuss three actual implementations of different mitigation approaches: changes to whole blood donor criteria (increase in interdonation interval for female donors) at Canadian Blood Services in Canada, ferritin testing of all 16 to 18 year old whole blood and double red cell (DRBC) donors at Vitalant, USA, and selective ferritin testing of every fifth donation made by whole blood donors at Sanquin, in the Netherlands. We will focus on why each approach was chosen and operational issues during the project phase and first year of collections post-implementation of the mitigation strategy in each blood center. We hope that the session provides practical information of use to other blood centers contemplating adopting any of these approaches in their own setting.
Discuss illustrative blood center experiences in evaluating donor iron depletion mitigation strategies.
Cite operational challenges and costs in the development and pre-implementation period for each strategy.
Cite operational challenges and costs in the post-implementation period for each strategy.
Evaluate which approach may be most appropriate / feasible in one’s own blood center.