Literature Review

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ASSIGNMENT

Conduct a critical appraisal of the literature on a topic of your choice relevant to

an area of nursing (clinical, management or education).

DONOR VIGILANCE

A systematic review of complications associated with whole blood donation and

the safety of the blood donor.

CONTENTS

Introduction……………………………….................................... 1

Purpose……………………………….............................................2

Search Methods……………………………….................................

Vasovagal Reactions……………………………….........................

Findings……………………………….............................................

Review of Adverse Events During or After Donation……………..

Methods Used to Prevent Vasovagal Reactions…………………..

Social Support and Adverse Reactions…………………………….

Conclusion……………………………….........................................

References……………………………….........................................

Introduction:

Throughout the world on a daily basis blood donors attend and donate blood at blood

establishments and suffer no ill effects . However complications do occur and include

both vasovagal and needle injuries (Newman 2004) and can therefore have a negative

impact on the blood donor (France et al 2004) . Donor safety must therefore be the

first and foremost responsibility of all those working in the area of transfusion

medicine (Bonig et al 2011). An ethical requirement of any blood establishment is to

ensure that all donors are made aware of the potential risks involved in donating blood

(Jorgensen et al 2004). Adverse reactions can include the following dizziness, feeling

faint or fainting and nausea i.e. vasovagal reactions and also bruising, haematoma

formation, nerve injury/pain to the venepuncture site . A vasovagal reaction could

lead to a donor injury due to a fall post donation and a needle complication could

cause long lasting complications (Horowitz 2005). Blood establishments are

constantly being challenged to maintain adequate blood supplies e.g. in Ireland 3000

blood donation are required each week and only % of the eligible population donate

(source Irish blood Transfusion Service IBTS website) and donors who experience

adverse reactions are less likely to return (Newman et al 2006) or encourage others to

donate in the future.

1

Purpose of this literature review

The purpose of this literature review is to critically appraise the findings of research

and the methods used in relation to blood donors and associated adverse

reactions. This review will focus mainly on the literature in relation to vasovagal

reactions (however needle related adverse incidents are included in part of some of the

reviewed literature) experienced by donors there frequency according to donor type

i.e. new or returning and the methods used/ suggested to decrease there frequency

and therefore improve the safety and overall experience of the blood donor.

The search methods used are as follows:

RCSI library and e-journal databases , IBTS library and e-journal databases such as

Cinahl , Cochrane and Pubmed.

Throughout the review of the material it became obvious that relevant material was

limited to journals dedicated to the area of blood transfusion e.g. Vox Sanguinis,

Transfusion Medicine, Transfusion , Blood Transfusion. The writer researched

articles written solely in the English language. Key words used in the

search were blood donation, blood donors, adverse events, vasovagal

reactions, donor safety . Initially over 35 articles were sourced , these were then 2

narrowed down to 15 articles based on review of the abstracts and the main content

of the papers the literature gathered was a mixture of both qualitative and quantitative

research which looked at donor questionnaires, surveys of donors post donation along

with data on donor numbers types age and...
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