Based on data from the CDC, 8-19% of women 20-49 years of age have iron deficiency in the United States. In a recent commentary in TRANSFUSION, Sayers and Centilli discuss the AABB’s recommendations from Bulletin #12-03, “Strategies to Monitor, Limit or Prevent Iron Deficiency in Blood Donors,” which includes increasing the donation interval, measuring donor ferritin, and iron replacement.
Since the bulletin did not give specifics on increasing the donation interval, Sayers and Centilli examined donation records from 78,489 female donors who were deferred because of hemoglobin (Hb) levels less than the cutoff of 12.5 g/dL. About 60% of the deferred donors returned, and these donors were more likely to have a successful donation the longer they waited to return and the closer their deferral Hb was to the cutoff. They also found, however, that over a quarter of those with original levels just below the cutoff (12.2-12.4g/dL) were deferred again, even though they returned between 21 and 24 weeks. These finding support the bulletin’s recommendation of also measuring iron stores and iron replacement.
1. Sayers M, Centilli J. Concerning iron balance in blood donors. Transfusion 2014.
2. Triulzi DJ, Shoos KL. Strategies to monitor, limit, or prevent iron deficiency in blood donors. AABB 2012, Association Bulletin #12-03. [cited 2014 Mar 6]. Available from: http://www.aabb.org/resources/publications/bulletins/Pages/ab12-03.aspx.