Blood Donor Counselling

Implementation Guidelines

December 2020
More details
  • Publisher
    World Health Organization
  • ISBN 9789241548557
  • Language English
  • Pages 114 pp.

Individuals who donate their blood provide a unique and precious gift in an act of human solidarity. In order to donate blood, prospective donors should be in good health and free from any infections that can be transmitted through transfusion. Most blood donors perceive themselves to be healthy, but some are unsuitable to donate blood due to the potential risk of compromising or worsening their own health or the risk of transmission of infections to patients.

Blood transfusion services (BTS) have a duty of care towards blood donors as well as to the recipients of transfusion. This duty of care extends to prospective donors who are deferred from donation--whether on a temporary or permanent basis--as well as those who donate blood and are subsequently found to have unusual or abnormal test results. BTS have a responsibility to confirm test results and provide information, counseling and support to enable these individuals to understand and respond to unexpected information about their health or risk status. Counseling is part of the spectrum of care that a BTS should be able to provide to blood donors--including referral to medical practitioners or specialist clinical services.

Pre-donation counseling was recognized as one element of the strategy to reduce and, if possible, prevent the donation of blood by individuals who might be at risk for HIV and other TTI including hepatitis B and C viruses as well as to inform the donor of the donation process and testing of blood for HIV. Post-donation counseling was acknowledged to be a necessary element of donor management as an adjunct to informing donors of unusual or abnormal test results.

Blood donor counseling by trained specialist staff is now considered to be a key component of the blood system in most countries with a well-developed blood transfusion service. It may be required at a number of stages in the blood donation process or following blood screening and should be available at any point at which the BTS has an interface with donors.

In many countries, however, blood donor counseling is not yet available in a structured way. Blood Donor Counselling: Implementation Guidelines has therefore been developed to provide guidance to blood transfusion services that have not yet established donor counseling programs.

1 Introduction

1.1 Blood donor counselling
1.2 Aim and objectives
1.3 Target audience
1.4 Methodology
2 Scope and stages of blood donor counselling
2.1 Scope and content of blood donor counselling
2.2 Stages of blood donor counselling
2.2.1 Stage 1: Pre-donation information
2.2.2 Stage 2: Pre-donation counselling
2.2.3 Stage 3: Counselling during blood donation
2.2.4 Stage 4: Post-donation counselling
3 Establishing a national system for blood donor counselling
3.1 National policy and guidelines on blood donor counselling
3.2 Infrastructure and facilities
3.3 Human and financial resources
3.4 Quality system
3.5 Reference laboratories
3.6 Donor information and education materials
3.7 Media and public relations
4 Ethical and legal considerations in blood donor counselling
4.1 Rights and responsibilities of the BTS and blood donors
4.2 Confidentiality and privacy
4.3 Informed consent
4.4 Voluntary partner notification and counselling for HIV and other TTI
4.5 Stigma and discrimination
4.6 Special considerations for adolescent blood donors
5 Training requirements for blood donor counselling
5.1 Objectives of training
5.2 Training methodology
5.3 Staff profiles
5.4 Responsibilities of BTS counsellors
5.5 Counselling knowledge and skills
5.6 Staff competency and supervision
6 Providing counselling services to blood donors
6.1 Essential features in the provision of blood donor counselling
6.2 BTS responsibilities in the provision of blood donor counselling
6.3 Models for the provision of post-donation counselling
6.4 Mode of communication with blood donors
6.5 Donor counselling in small and mobile facilities
7 Monitoring and evaluation of blood donor counselling
7.1 Objectives of monitoring and evaluation
7.2 Methods of monitoring and evaluation
7.3 Data for monitoring and evaluation
7.4 Monitoring and evaluation indicators
7.5 Monitoring and evaluation parameters
7.6 Donor surveys

Annex 1 Haemoglobin and iron: information for blood donors
Annex 2 Bruising: information for blood donors
Annex 3 Example of post-donation advice to blood donors
Annex 4 Steps in post-donation counselling of blood donors with confirmed TTI
Annex 5 HIV infection: information for blood donors
Annex 6 Hepatitis B virus infection: information for blood donors
Annex 7 Hepatitis C virus infection: information for blood donors
Annex 8 Syphilis: information for blood donors
Annex 9 Malaria: information for blood donors
Annex 10 Chagas disease: information for blood donors
Annex 11 Steps in obtaining informed consent for blood donation
Annex 12 Donor counselling training modules
Annex 13 Example of frequently asked questions
Annex 14 Example of a blood donor survey

World Health Organization

World Health Organization is a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, charged to act as the world's directing and coordinating authority on questions of human health. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries, and monitoring and assessing health trends.