Donor cycle and donor segmentation: new tools for improving blood donor management


Correspondence: Dr. Ingrid Veldhuizen, Sanquin Research, Department Donor Studies, P.O. Box 1013, 6501 BA Nijmegen, The Netherlands



Background and Objectives

An adequate donor population is of key importance for the entire blood transfusion chain. For good donor management, a detailed overview of the donor database is therefore imperative. This study offers a new description of the donor cycle related to the donor management process. It also presents the outcomes of a European Project, Donor Management IN Europe (DOMAINE), regarding the segmentation of the donor population into donor types.

Materials and Methods

Blood establishments (BEs) from 18 European countries, the Thalassaemia International Federation and a representative from the South-Eastern Europe Health Network joined forces in DOMAINE. A questionnaire assessed blood donor management practices and the composition of the donor population using the newly proposed DOMAINE donor segmentation. 48 BEs in 34 European countries were invited to participate.


The response rate was high (88%). However, only 14 BEs could deliver data on the composition of their donor population. The data showed large variations and major imbalances in the donor population. In 79% of the countries, inactive donors formed the dominant donor type. Only in 21%, regular donors were the largest subgroup, and in 29%, the proportion of first-time donors was higher than the proportion of regular donors.


Good donor management depends on a thorough insight into the flow of donors through their donor career. Segmentation of the donor database is an essential tool to understand the influx and efflux of donors. The DOMAINE donor segmentation helps BEs in understanding their donor database and to adapt their donor recruitment and retention practices accordingly. Ways to use this new tool are proposed.