Voluntary blood donation programmes
- recruitment and retention are about people and community, about understanding
them, capturing their interest and influencing their behaviour. The main communicating
task for both blood donor recruitment and retention should be geared towards getting
public understanding about the importance and triggering a response for action.
Once a blood donor motivator raises awareness, he or she must motivate and persuade
people to donate blood. One key secret of successful blood donor recruitment is
to take the beds to the donors as close as possible on their convenient date and
time rather than expecting the donors to come to the blood bank. The closer the
bed to the potential donor, the stronger is the likelihood of success. This is possible
only through outdoor blood donation camps. If the camps are held in a relaxed manner,
it can be an enjoyable pleasant experience for all concerned. All over the world,
most blood from voluntary blood donors is collected from outdoor camps in rural
and urban areas.
In Indian context camps can
be organised on holidays or in the evening in residential area or locality based
socio-cultural organisations not only in cities or towns, but also in suburbs and
villages. The people of all ages assemble either on holidays or at the end of day’s
or week’s work and the example of adults donating blood would be a strong teaching
and demonstration effect for the children. Even diehard determined non-donors may
be expected to donate blood someday if the camps become a regular activity in a
particular venue. Camps can be organised in educational institutions, industrial
and commercial houses throughout the week. Only all these combined efforts would
ensure steady flow of blood in the blood banks. A few blood banks have well equipped
mobile blood collection vans fitted with everything including beds, doctor’s chair,
wash basin, storage refrigerator and even a small refreshment corner with own power
generating unit. These vans are quite costly and cannot negotiate through the roads
in suburban areas and villages and are not suitable for mass blood donation camps
even in camps with 200 donors. Besides, festive mood of the environment and demonstration
effect would not be there. So in Indian context, best method is outdoor camps by
carrying blood bank personnel and equipment in a vehicle and pitching the camp in
a prefixed well ventilated place.
The outdoor camps in
are and will be organised in places faraway from blood banks. So a checklist of
blood collection equipment and instruments should be maintained and carefully checked
before the departure of the vehicle from the blood bank. Most of the blood collection
items cannot be organised locally. Any omission to carry even a small item may frustrate
the noble effort of the donor organisers and the donors.
Advantages of collection of
blood from camps:
· Intending donors get opportunity to donate according to their
· Familiar faces and known atmosphere help in the shedding
· fear complex by the first time donors.
· Community participation.
· Recruits new donors.
· Health status and habits of intending blood donors are known
· organisers, quality blood is assured due to self exclusion.
· Demonstration effect.
· Convert non-donor to donor.
· Help in donor retention.
In camp management and organisation,
local organisers have scope of using their imagination to convert the area to a
festive mood with decoration, light music rather than the silence inside a hospital
The motivator should identify
a key person amongst the group. In
consultation with the key person, motivation session and the date and time of the
camp should be fixed up according to the convenience of the donor group.
The proposed camp site should
be inspected well in advance with due importance to the following points:
· Adequacy of the space for anticipated number of donors and
· Lighting and ventilation
· Electrical outfits
· Availability of water
· Toilet facilities
· Waiting space
· Donors’ screening space
· Furniture (tables and chairs)
· Refreshment space not far away from the donors’ beds
· Cleanliness of the site.
Movement of the donor in the
camp should be as far as possibl unidirectional. Flow diagram of donor may be as
On the day of the camp, the
chief motivators and the team of volunteers and the blood bank team should reach
in time. The donors should be warmly received and guided and escorted through different
stages. Presentation of memento, badge, certificate with courtesy and sincerity
and answering all queries of donor should be considered as part of donor motivation.
The refreshment corner should be well managed and donors should be handled with
personal human touch. This being the last point of the camp, it leaves a permanent
impression in the mind of the donors. Talking with the donor throughout all the
stages is extremely important, as it helps donors to feel wanted and also helps
the first time donors to shed their fear.
The donors should be advised
to remain in refreshment room for at least 15 minutes and should be advised to increase
their water consumption I during the day and refrain from smoking for half an hour.A
hearty good-bye with a request to donate again after three months is destined to
inspire a donor to become a regular repeat donor.Signs of minor reaction like the
following should be handled with tender loving care and compassion :
Lack of willingness to communicate
Tendency to faint.
When reaction occurs to a
donor, motivator or medico-social work should remain calm and try not to get other
donors upset and call in the medical officer-in-charge of the blood collection team,
but ensuring the prevention of the donor from falling down. Placing the donor in
the bed or floor with a pillow under the feet, helps in subsiding minor reactions.
But doctors should check up the donor in all such cases. In case of bleeding from
the seal of venipuncture, finger pressure with cotton wool, folding the arm with
a cotton wool pad in between and raising the folded hand a little upward helps in
stopping such bleeding. Once the bleeding stops, the venipuncture site may be sealed
The best motivational efforts
may go in vain, in spite of best possible donor recruitment and retention strategies,
if the camps are not organised in an efficient manner with active involvement of
blood bank team, local organiser and motivators. At every stage, care should be
taken so that the donor can leave the area with a good impression with a resolution
to come back again.
Donors’ blood cards should
be made available to the donors in time directly or through their local organisers.
Refreshment should be offered neatly with a friendly gesture and hospitality. The
motivators should understand the significance of serving refreshment to keep the
donor engaged under the watchful eyes of socio-medical volunteers or the medical
officer. The donor should be made to understand that refreshment has nothing to
do with immediate recuperation of blood loss due to donation. A piping hot or cold
drink and light refreshment are offered to compel the donor to spend some time in
a relaxed mood. Whatever be the items of refreshment, they should be served neatly
and nicely with a smile.
A well organised camp inspires
many onlookers around to become blood donors.
The premises used for outdoor
donor sessions may often be the only local venue available, but they must be of
sufficient size, suitable construction and in an appropriate location to allow proper
operation. They must be clean and maintained in accordance with accepted rules of
The space required will obviously
depend on the number of staff and donors and the rate at which donors arrive. The
following activities should be kept in mind when accepting a venue.
Registration of donors and all other necessary information processing. Wherever
possible, there should be easy access to a telephone, preferably within the venue.
counselling, the medical history and the health check-up to determine donors’ fitness
to donate blood. Facilities should be available for confidential discussions between
donors and social workers or the medical officer.
of blood from donors without risk of contamination or errors. Visitors and onlookers
should not be allowed to come too close to the bleeding area.
social and medical care of donors, including those who suffer
reactions. Sufficient seating arrangements should be provided for donors and staff,
with allowance made for possible queues during busy periods.
of equipment, reagents and disposable.
Health and Safety
Health and safety factors
should be taken into account when selecting venues for outdoor camps. In particular,
the following points should be kept in mind:
Mass Blood Donation Camp
In industrial or commercial
houses and educational institutions, facilities for holding blood donation camps
may be extended once in a year by suspending their normal activities. If smaller
blood banks opt to collect blood according to their need or capacity many willing
donors have to be refused. This may send a wrong signal to the community and would
certainly make the task of the donor organisers a difficult one. as they would not
be able to make such make-shift arrangement for camps again at successive intervals.
The organisations may not like to suspend their normal work for the camp in the
same year once again.
Camps at such a place organised
by massive awareness campaign, particularly when the camp is organised at a central
place where donors come individually by availing themselves of public transport,
should be planned in a different way as refusal to accept from such donors on account
of logistics may affect the blood donation movement to a considerable extent. Besides
large scale awareness campaign through electronic or print media is not possible
for smaller camps of 20/50 blood donors. The solution lies in bringing in a number
of blood bank teams to work side by side under the same roof, each collecting blood
according to its respective capacity. Donor screening, registration and donors refreshment
corner may be arranged for centrally so also the campaign. There have been such
successful mass blood donation camps in the cities like
, Mumbai. Chennai,
, and Pune. Some such camps have become regular fixed day camps of over twenty years’
standing. Many donors of these mass donation camps have subsequently become organisers
of smaller camps in their place of work or in their locality.
There are three main advantages
derived from a mass donation camp. First the resources available with any voluntary
are just not sufficient to sustain a mass awareness campaign round the year .However,
a specific campaign can start about three weeks before a mass donation camp and
can gradually build up into a crescendo through postering, outdoor hoardings, radio
talks, TV. exposures and through the free coverage in the newspapers. The publicity
generated leads to increased awareness in general. Secondly, mass camps have
a demonstration effect. When one sees so many fellow human beings donating blood,
he feels inadequate unless he also donates himself. This is the demonstration effect
of peer pressure. The third benefit is that a number of big and’ small blood banks
working side by side act as a technical workshop and activate the less active blood
banks. This, of course, needs a competent technical supervision.
Mass blood donation camps
call for very well coordinated organised efforts between the organisers, the collecting
agency and above all, the donors. A well managed mass blood donation camp can motivate
the non-donors and a reminder to repeat the act may also become instrumental in
ensuring better participation on subsequent occasions.Mass blood donation camps
also open up opportunities to involve more blood bank personnel, social organisations
and volunteers with the blood donation movement. Such camps may be organised in
educational institutions, factories, big offices, banks, social clubs or at central
convenient places where donors being motivated through campaign may come individually.Precaution
should always be taken so that quality is not sacrificed for the sake of quantity.
All technical procedures should be strictly adhered to.
In mass blood donation camp poor turnout
due to natural calamity or situation beyond the control of the organisers may frustrate
the elaborate arrangement. So the organisers should be pragmatic and not over ambitious
while planning such camps.