Completing the Donor History Questionnaire before the Donation Visit Can Improve Blood Safety

Juliane Neugebauer, Christina Hagen, Christian Brockmann, David Juhl, Sven Ole Schuster, Dagmar Steppat, Siegfried Görg, Malte Ziemann*

*Korrespondierende/r Autor/-in für diese Arbeit


Background and Objectives: In Germany, the donor history questionnaire (DHQ) is traditionally filled in at the donation center to avoid any influence of others. Since March 2020, it has been suggested to donors to answer the DHQ already at home and to call if they have any concerns to reduce the number of ineligible donors on-site during the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: We evaluated the rate of ineligible donors before and after March 2020. Additionally, an anonymous online survey asking for the donors' attitude towards the DHQ was performed. It included questions on whether and for what reason the DHQ had been answered incorrectly in the past. Results: The rate of ineligible donors decreased by 27% (from 7.1% to 5.2%). In total, 5,556 of 10,252 invited donors completed the survey (54.2%). 88.6% reported either going through the DHQ at home or knowing all questions from their previous donations. 444 donors (8.0%) had at least once postponed a donation after reading the DHQ at home. 68 donors (1.2%) admitted having intentionally provided false answers in the past (9 at home, 43 on-site, 14 both, 2 unknown). Not wanting to be rejected once arriving at the donation center was an important motivation for 42% of donors answering incorrectly on-site. Details on 46 incorrect answers were provided: only 17 had no influence on donor eligibility or product quality. In 5 cases, some blood products might have had impaired quality. Truthful answers to 17 questions would have led to deferral, mostly due to increased risk for unrecognized viral infections transmitted by sexual contacts. For a further 7 questions, there was insufficient information available to determine possible consequences. Asked about their general opinion, 753 (13.6%) of all donors estimated the risk of incorrect answers being greater on-site, while 239 (4.3%) presumed an increased risk at home. Conclusion: Answering the DHQ prior to a donation visit prevented ineligible donors from visiting the donation center. Furthermore, it might improve honesty, as the discomfort of being deferred after arriving at the donation center was an important reason to answer incorrectly. Overall, there was no increased risk of donor or product safety, and potentially even a benefit.

ZeitschriftTransfusion Medicine and Hemotherapy
Seiten (von - bis)306-314
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 28.09.2022


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