Objectives: To gain baseline knowledge about frequency, severity and types of anaemia among prospective urban replacement blood donors.
Methods: A prospective study was carried out at the blood bank of a tertiary care hospital in Karachi, Pakistan, on temporarily rejected male blood donors due to anaemia based on pre-donation complete blood counts. Severity of anaemia was determined according to World Health Organization (WHO) criteria into mild, moderate and severe. Type of anaemia was graded based on mean corpuscular volume (MCV) values of < 80 fL, 80-100 fL and > 80 fL into microcytic, normocytic and macrocytic anaemia. Prevalence of anaemia was also calculated.
Results: Among 18 539 male replacement donors during one-year, deferrals due to anaemia were 1445 (56.07%) out of a total of 2577 temporary rejections. Prevalence of anaemia was found to be 7.8% among male population. Mild anaemia was found in 80.1% donors and the commonest type of anaemia based on MCV was hypochromic, microcytic (66.6%). A significant correlation was found between microcytic anaemia with disease severity (p-value, 0.009) and age group 30‒40 years (p-value, 0.000).
Conclusion: A high prevalence of anaemia among male replacement donors, not associated with frequency of donation signifies deteriorating health status of male population with concomitant regular loss of whole blood donations. Knowledge of cause of anaemia is vital to guide the recruitment strategy for whole blood donors.
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