To prevent (negative consequences of) temporary deferral due to low hemoglobin, the Dutch national blood service Sanquin introduced a ferritin monitoring policy in 2017. Ferritin is measured after the donation (as opposed to before donation for hemoglobin), and low ferritin levels lead to deferral of 6 (ferritin 15-30 ng/mL) or 12 months (ferritin <15 ng/mL). Marloes, Steven and Maike explored the consequences of this policy on donor behavior and availability.
The introduction of a ferritin monitoring policy amongst blood donors may not only have effects on donor health, but also on their motivations and behavior.
The introduction of such a policy in the Netherlands led to a decrease in donor availability and reduced donations from donors deferred for low ferritin values.
The policy was, however, also successful in retaining more donors after low ferritin deferrals and reducing the number of low hemoglobin deferrals in the follow-up period.
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