Psychological Factors Influencing Decision to Re-Donate Blood Among the Youth in the US

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1690 Words
Date:  2022-05-09

Blood is a fluid that runs through our body; it carries oxygen through our body and saves us from carbon dioxide. It is also the carrier that supplies nutrients to the rest of the body so that we can function well (Ahuja and Saluga, 2009). Blood donation is a means of social unity: it is not surprising that many people accept to donate blood as a humanitarian cause to save the sick and the needy, knowing that drop of blood could save the lives of thousands of indigent patients (Gillespie and Holler, 2002). Demand for blood supplies is ever increasing in the US and the world at large, exertions to enlarge the donor group by enrolling new young donors have brought about more significant numbers of preliminary aids, but retaining young donors remains a problem (Annem and Eder, 2012). Therefore, the need to come up with an enhanced approach that would ensure a proper and satisfactory stream of blood products that will meet the rising demand and provide a buffer for any blood needs emergency. Some of these factors include health benefits like gaining information about blood pressure, heartbeat rate, BMI and many other body conditions that many people who do not visit health facilities don't know (Shaz and Beth, 2009). However, the 2011 and 2013 survey on blood collection and transfusion surveys in the US revealed a declining trend. The decline in blood collection and utilization was linked to a reduction in the demand for blood products in the US healthcare system. Researchers have previously pointed to some psychological, socio-demographic and physiological factors that impact young folks' decision on whether or not to participate in the blood donation exercise (Ahuja and Saluga, 2009). A rising number of researchers have emphasized the aim of psychosomatic aspects in clarifying and foreseeing factors to understand blood contribution attitude and conduct with particular emphasis on repeat donation, For example, 2.4% of the African American adults donate per year in the US. (Goldman, 2009). Fear, anxiety, needle pain are some of the factors that prevent young blood donors from repeatedly donating blood (Glynn et al., 2015). This is the reason why the percentage of blood donation among young individuals is decreasing over time. It is therefore essential to come up with solutions which will help raise the number (Sullivan, 2011).

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First and foremost, the management of the anxiety that is associated with the blood transfusion as one of the factors affecting blood donation among the youths need to be dealt with. In a review done by Anne, F. Eder in her article "Improving safety for Young Blood Donors," she argues that the young donors' first stage donation position and assessed blood capacity foresee impediments after the entire blood donation. (14). Complications such as sudden onset of dizziness, pallor, and lightheadedness occur in 5-10 % of donors under nineteen years which are usually resolved quickly can still be unpleasant for the donor. These factors may present challenges for repeated donation in the younger age groups. Eder (15) in her exploration of the psychological factors, identifies an essential aspect that is affecting the blood collection exercise and possible solution for improving donation experience (Annem and Eder, 2012). For instance, she prescribed the AABB task force measures that were concluded from several randomized controlled trials which can be used by blood centers to decrease the side effect faced when young donors donate blood to assess secure donation continually. For instance, Shaz and Beth in their article " Motivators and Barriers to Blood Donation in African American College

Students," state that in most starter donors responded positively to the consumption of 500ml in less than 5 minutes which is a meek and cheap tactic to improve the donation familiarity and perhaps upsurge donor retaining (Shaz and Beth, 2009). Therefore, this can be enhanced by first giving them counselling and assure them of the need to donate blood and that they need not to be so anxious of all the process.

Secondly, an organized and controlled environment or setting on a mobile drive is essential for a better psychological donation familiarity for blood contributors despite their oldness is also another strategy to be used. Donation-related fears and anxiety are most apparent among young donors that increase the danger of collapsing (Glynn et al., 2015). Distraction practices put some contributors relaxed during blood gathering, relying on their desired way of managing. Persons called "blunders" tend to use rejection, interference, and clarification to face stressful processes, whereas "monitors" incline to pursue significant information and face the situation (Goldman, 2009). Thus, the audiovisual interference was linked with amended tallies on the BDRI and abridged reportage of vasovagal indications by contributors with blunting handling techniques but not contributors with nursing coping ways (Ahuja and Saluga, 2009).Pre-donation education and post reaction instructions to donors and parents are recommended to prevent cases of applied muscle tension during phlebotomy which includes a monotonous tightening of crucial contractions of the hands' and legs' muscles which allow the intravenous reappearance and cardiac yield and upsets cerebral tide (Sullivan, 2011).According to Elder (15), individual blood centers that use typical descriptions, training and processes to trail feedback over a period may be of benefit to improve awareness of such cases hence contributing to repeated donations by young individual in voluntarily manner.(Elder, 2012). Therefore, education on the importance of blood donation is necessary to provide knowledge to young individuals who have never donated to modify their behavior and attitude toward donation positively.

Thirdly, management of pain during donation is also another strategy. According to Shaz and Beth in their article "Motivators and Barriers to Blood Donation in African American College Students," they noted that most young non-donor people think that the blood giving exercise is too painful for them to endure, as well as it would result in feeling dizzy and nauseated. This is a psychological misconception that forms part of the reasons as to why they don't attend blood donation drives in their school. (Shaz and Beth, 2009). Research, however, shows that a higher proportion of those who have donated disagreed with this concept (61% donor, 29% non-donor). If this study is anything to go by then, young donors should believe that blood donation is not painful for the majority and cannot make one feel dizzy as pointed out in the fears of the young black American students who never donated. As for my conclusion from Shaz's study, the main question in this study one could raise to the practitioners and blood centers is, do the young people really know that blood donation exercise is not painful? Do they know that one cannot feel dizzy or develop health problems after donating blood? Here comes the pre-donation education methods in providing the necessary information and knowledge to young individuals who never donated to positively modify their behavior and attitude towards donation.

The need to assure the donors that there will be no much effects during blood donation. Gillespie and Holler (25) in an attempt to scrutinize the relations amongst syncopal reaction, donation nervousness, needle sting, donor gratification and contribution objective by using path analysis in the estimation of contributor return performance concluded that there is a significant duty of donor apprehension in determining donor retaining (Gillespie and Holler, 2002) The explication was related to the direct downside effect of stress on donation retention since it increases the likelihood of donor's needle pain and rate of syncopal reaction which will adversely affect donation satisfaction and, subsequently, donation intention and retention. Individuals' differences in anxiety must be considered when developing, and testing strategies to enhance blood donor retention (Ahuja and Saluga, 2009). The blood donation exercise should thus be designed and prepared in a manner that quickly treats those donors with reactions and controls the abnormal situation that any donor may exhibit during the process. (Glynn et al., 2015). This will eliminate incidences of donors showing conditions that may cause psychological barriers to the blood donation exercise whose impact on repeat donation is entirely negative

The World Health Organization together with Red Crescent Societies and the Global Federation of Red Cross in their international framework for action to attain 100% voluntary blood donation, outlined broad strategies, goals and action points which enable nations to achieve 100% blood donation goal (WHO). They have also emphasized the importance of a controlled environment to handle any post-donation reactions exhibited by donors (Goldman, 2009). This is instead a physiological approach which is vital to all blood donations drives in the US and all parts of the world (Sullivan, 2011). The reasons why people decide to donate blood for the first time is determined by several factors which can either be cultural, religion or individual beliefs and values. The measures include encouraging young donors through media appeals or advertising via TV, radio stations, as well as posters. Websites too might be useful in communicating information to young people. A site of donation programs might help as a cradle of fundamental ideas and information (Annem and Eder, 2012). In most nations, young people have a high mobility level, therefore developing and maintaining donors' registers are essential in preserving the blood supply's safety as well as creating a well-established database of the donors that will allow for recording, monitoring, evaluating and sharing the information of one's donation history or in case of change of residence (Shaz and Beth, 2009).


In conclusion, retaining of young blood contributors has always been a significant issue. Majority of first-time contributors fail to return to donate again (Gillespie and Holler, 2002). Research indicates that distinct differences in donors' mental reply to their symptoms may perhaps be significant in determining their future contribution purposes and performance, for example, slight signs of feebleness or dizziness can be viewed as an apprehension or probably as a signal that those donors aren't well suitable for forthcoming donations (Shaz and Beth, 2009). There is the need for WHO to lead other practitioners and blood centres in coming up with the regulatory framework that will focus on the psychological aspects surrounding the blood donation exercise to reduce negative experiences that can discourage people during the first donation experiences (Gillespie and Holler, 2002). The structure should outline a mental motivation process that is intended to boost chances of repeat donation among the first time blood donors (Sullivan, 2011).

Works Cited

Ahuja V, Saluga G. (2009). Assessment of blood donors' perceptio...

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Psychological Factors Influencing Decision to Re-Donate Blood Among the Youth in the US. (2022, May 09). Retrieved from

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