National Blood Donor Month: Incentivizing Donations and Meeting Supply Needs

January 22, 2021
Jonathan Alicea

Encouraging and incentivizing donations is essential to ensuring supplies of all blood types are met.

A key challenge faced by blood suppliers—such as the American Red Cross—is ensuring supply demands of all blood types are met. Of course, one factor of the solution stems from encouraging individuals to donate blood.

And yet, barriers such as reticence can prevent or discourage one from doing so.

“The number one reason that people give as to why they’ve never donated is that they’ve never been asked to donate,” Rodney Wilson, Senior Biomedical Communications Specialist of American Red Cross, tells HCPLive® in an interview

“Most people don’t even realize this is a daily need,” he continued.

He explained the importance of working through community organizations and leveraging familiarity within communities. In particular, members within the community volunteering with the Red Cross can encouraging participation through direct and personal communication with neighbors.

“We find that the personal ask ultimately makes a big difference,” Wilson said. “When people realize that there is a need and get a specific ask from someone they know, they seem very willing to do it.”

Wilson also discussed the Red Cross’s offering of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) antibody tests, another strategy that has particularly garnered a degree of interest among potential donors.

Beyond simply informing donors of their prior COVID-19 status, the donation process can benefit those ill with the virus through use of donor convalescent plasma.


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