Prevalence and Causes of Blood Deferral in Tertiary Care Teaching Hospital Islamabad


  • Mohsin Ali Hassni University of Balochistan Author
  • Rubina Mir Author
  • Zafar H Tanveer Author
  • Fatima Zahra Author
  • Khalil Hasni Author
  • Hassan Iftikhar Author
  • Syeda Muntaha Zahra Zaidi Author
  • Zia -ul-Rahman Author
  • Arif Hussain Author



Prevalence, Blood Deferral, Islamabad, Blood Transfusion, Donors, Vaccination, Hemoglobin


Background: A blood transfusion is a vital and potentially life-saving operation in modern therapeutic and surgical procedures; yet, it requires a sufficient supply of safe blood from a healthy donor. In addition to laboratory testing of blood bags for infectious illnesses, appropriate, safe, and healthy donor selection is required. On the other hand, the loss of valuable blood components that are accessible for transfusion results from fit donors deferring. Understanding the reasons for both temporary and permanent deferrals can help us prevent this, put our knowledge into practice. The current study aimed to assess the incidence and reasons behind blood donor deferrals at  Islamabad teaching hospital that provides tertiary care.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted at Dr. Akbar Niazi Teaching Hospital’s blood bank. All Blood donors reporting to donate blood at a blood bank between the periods of 1st September 2020 to 24th December 2021 were included in the study. The data was obtained by interviewing the donors using specially designed Performa. The collected data of deferred blood donors was analyzed using SPSS version 21.

Results: Out of a total of 2054 blood donors, 523 (25.5%) were deferred due to different reasons and ineligible to donate blood. Out of 523 deferred donors, 455(87%) were males and 68(13%) were females. The average age of the blood donors was 26(4.2%) and most blood donors were between 20 to 40 years age. The common causes for deferral were low hemoglobin (41.3%), recent COVID-19 vaccination (12.6%) and increased TLC (7.1%). Hepatitis B virus 39(7.5%), Hepatitis C virus (4.4%), HIV 5(1.0%) and Syphilis 18 (3.4%).

Conclusion: The most frequent reasons for delay were elevated TLC count, recent COVID-19 immunization, and low hemoglobin levels. The cornerstone of a safe blood supply is the donor education on self-exclusion and strict selection criteria. 


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