Background and objectives: To address a national concern over the sufficiency of plasma, Canadian Blood Services (CBS) initiated a proof-of-concept programme with three new source plasma collection centres, aiming to demonstrate a cost-effective template for future source plasma collection and to alleviate the concerns and risks associated with the dependence on the United States. This study uses social capital as a framework to assess the success of the proof-of-concept collection centres.
Materials and methods: One-hundred and one qualitative interviews with source plasma donors in three new source plasma centres in Canada were carried out.
Results: CBS played a critical role in motivating whole-blood donors to switch to plasma donation by building on their identity as a donor and facilitating access. Community was central to ensuring that donors returned. The importance of the social network was apparent through relationships participants developed with staff and through the relationships that staff had with each other. Donors wanted to understand more about the uses of plasma so that they could promote donation through their social networks outside the centre.
Conclusion: Campaigns to convert existing blood donors to plasma donors should build on their identity as a donor and structure the centre as a safe and welcoming place. To retain donors, blood collection agencies should emphasize community by facilitating staff ability to work well together and connect with the donor. Blood operators have the potential to expand existing social networks and foster trust through the dissemination of knowledge about plasma more broadly in more diverse communities.
Keywords: COVID-19; plasma sufficiency; qualitative research; social networks; source plasma donors.
© 2022 International Society of Blood Transfusion.