Published: 2021-03-22

How uniform is donor history questionnaire for screening potential blood donors: a critical analysis

Jayant Kumar Kairi, Manmeet Kaur


Background: Transfusion of whole blood or blood products are a clinical necessity in numerous clinical conditions. Blood donated from healthy human volunteers is the only method currently available to acquire blood transfusion and production of blood products. Donor history questionnaire (DHQ) contributes immensely to ensure safe blood donation. The aim was to compare the donor history questionnaire for blood donation deferral of various regions and organizations with that of World Health Organization (WHO).

Methods: An extensive internet search for donor history questionnaires (DHQ) for blood donation deferral of different regions, countries and organization was conducted. Seven such forms were found which could be downloaded. A critical analysis of these forms was conducted based on history pertaining to use of medicines, disease history or procedure undergone recently. A comparative analysis was conducted finally with the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations on the issue of donor screening and deferral. Descriptive analysis was done for comparison of donor history questionnaires in regards to drugs taken, disease history and invasive procedures performed.

Results: After the analysis of the DHQs, we found that despite many similarities, there were significant differences in the questionnaires. The differences were more with respect to questions asked about the medicines, both traditional as well as modern.

Conclusions: DHQs analysed by us revealed wide variations in their enquiry from potential donors about exposure to prescription medicines as well as the disease history. A suggestion is that more questions related to alternative medicines, nutraceuticals and other similar xenobiotic should be included.


Blood donors, Donor history questionnaires, Drugs, Medication

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