Background a blood transfusion is a life-saving procedure in many instances. An adequate supply of safe blood is ensured by exercising donor deferral criteria and screening for Transfusion Transmitted Infections (TTI). The aim of this paper is to study the profile of blood donors and reasons for donor deferral in coastal South India. Method The study was conducted at a tertiary care hospital in Mangalore. All those who donated between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2008 were included in the study. Data was collected using a pre-tested semi-structured proforma and analysed using SPSS version 11.5. Results Most of the donors were under the age of 25 (42.92%).Donors were predominantly male (95.20%). In terms of occupation, most subjects were students (28.01%) followed by businessmen (18.61%). Slightly more than three-quarters of the donors (77.20%) were replacement donors. The main reasons for deferral were consumption of medication in the past 72 hours (15.15%), hypertension (13.18%), a low haemoglobin level (12.34%) and alcohol intake in the past 72 hours (12.20%). Among the TTIs identified, most samples were positive for Hepatitis B surface Antigen - HBsAg (0.87%) or tested positive for Anti-Hepatitis C (HCV antibodies (0.36%). Conclusion From the study it was concluded that the majority of the donor population was young and educated. The reason for donation was mainly replacement rather than voluntary. This issue needs to be addressed by exercising proactive measures to increase the number of voluntary, nonremunerated, low-risk donors.
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