Background: Thalassemia trait and G6PD deficiency are asymptomatic and volunteers with these variants are eligible for blood donation.
Aims: This study aimed to investigate prevalence and hematologic profiles of blood donors with thalassemia trait and G6PD deficiency and the influence of these abnormalities have on donor retention and blood component preparation.
Methods: Prospectively recruited blood donors were investigated for thalassemia and G6PD deficiency. Characteristic data, hematologic profiles, proportions of prepared blood components, donor return rate within 12 months and adverse reactions in patients receiving red cell transfusions were compared among thalassemia trait, G6PD deficiency, and normal donors.
Results: In Thai blood donors, thalassemia trait prevalence was 21.1% and G6PD deficiency prevalence based on G6PD activity was 7.7%. Blood donors with thalassemia trait had significantly lower hemoglobin, MCV, and MCH than blood donors without thalassemia trait (Hb 13.55 ± 1.00 vs. 13.96 ± 1.25 g/dL, MCV 76.70 ± 6.69 vs. 87.01 ± 5.10 fL, and MCH 25.06 ± 2.17 vs. 28.67 ± 1.91 pg, all respectively and all p < 0.01). However, the hematologic profiles of blood donors with G6PD deficiency were not significantly different from the hematologic profiles of blood donors with normal G6PD activity. No significant difference was observed among thalassemia trait, G6PD deficiency, and normal donors relative to donor retention and blood component preparation.
Conclusion: The high prevalence of thalassemia trait and G6PD deficiency in Thai blood donors observed in this study does not adversely affect donor retention and blood component preparation.
Keywords: Blood donors; G6PD deficiency; Thalassemia trait.
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