Deterrents in recruitment of COVID?19 convalescent plasma donors: Experience from a hospital?based blood centre in India

AbstractIntroduction

Recruitment of Covid-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) donors may present as a challenge due to inexperience and differences in donor profile as compared to whole blood donation. Present study highlights the deterrents to recruiting CCP donors at a hospital based blood centre.

Materials and methods

Potential CCP donors were contacted individually by telephone and a group approach through camp organisers from May to July 2020. Recruitment challenges were noted and deferrals of these recruited donors during screening and medical examination was obtained and analysed.

Results

Total 1165 potential CCP donors were contacted. Around 47% donors were lost due to challenges related to information storage and retrieval. Fear of health, family pressure, and fear of a new procedure were major reason (27.2%) for unwillingness to donate. The main reasons for deferral among potential donors were multiparity (38%) and being overage/underage (31.6%). Finally, 468 donors were recruited including 408 by individual approach and 60 by a group approach. From these absence of detectable COVID-19 antibodies were found in 15.4%. Few donors (9.0%) were deferred as they had not completed 28?days post recovery.

Conclusion

The process of CCP donor recruitment differs from that of whole blood donation and requires an individualised approach with involvement of clinicians in the initial phases of the pandemic. A group approach targeting specific organisations could be adopted for a successful CCP collection program. There is a need to relook into some aspects of donor selection such as consideration of multiparous female donors and overage/underage donors after reviewing scientific evidence.