BACKGROUND: In China recruitment and retention of sufficient numbers of safe blood donors continues to be a challenge. Understanding who donates blood, particularly those who donate larger (>200 mL) whole blood (WB) units, will help blood centers to target more effective recruitment and retention strategies.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Demographic characteristics of 226,489 allogeneic WB donors from January to December 2008 at five geographically and ethnically diverse, urban blood centers were analyzed.
RESULTS: The typical Chinese WB donor can be characterized as first-time volunteer (67.9%), male (56.9%), less than 45 years old (93.8%), and Han ethnicity (86.1%). Most donors had some college or below educational level (77.5%), donated at a mobile collection site (97.6%), and donated 300- or 400-mL units (76.0%). Differences in WB volume donations and donor demographics exist among the five centers.
CONCLUSION: In China compared to the United States, donations are made by younger donors and donors give infrequently and make smaller WB donations. To help ensure supply adequacy, continued efforts are needed to have donors give larger volumes of WB in China.