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Evaluation of Iron Stores in Blood Donors by Estimation of Serum Ferritin level

Authors: Parasappa Joteppa Yaranal, Harish S G
Abstract:Context: Regular blood donation can lead to iron deficiency as well as iron deficiency anaemia. Screening of voluntary blood donor’s serum ferritin levels at the time of donation is very important to estimate the iron deficiency because they lose 236 mg of iron in each donation. Aim: To evaluate serum ferittin estimation in voluntary blood donors and to reflect the paucity of data in our country especially south India, regarding impact of regular voluntary blood donation on iron status of donors. Material and Methods: This study was conducted prospectively in which 100 voluntary blood donors were included. The blood donors were divided into four groups, according to the number of blood donations. Pre-donation haemoglobin assessment was done and serum ferritin was estimated by indirect ELISA. Statistical analysis used: The statistical analysis was done by using Student’s ‘t’ test and Z test. Results: The percentage of female donors with deficient iron stores was more as compared to male donors. The serum ferritin levels were significantly high in first time donors compared to regular donors. The serum ferritin levels gradually decreased depending upon the frequency of donations. Hence the number of donation per year was more predictive of decreased iron stores rather than the number of lifetime donations. The serum ferritin levels were significantly lower among the regular donors, compared to first time donors. The serum ferritin was <15 μg/L in 22.22% and 42.85% of male and female donors respectively who donated once a year, 27.77 % and 28.57% in those who donated twice a year and 47.82% and 100% in those who donated thrice a year. Conclusion: Even though level of haemoglobin remained acceptable for blood donation but estimation of haemoglobin alone in regular blood donors may not be adequate for detection of iron deficiency. Hence, serum ferritin estimations may be needed to detect sub-clinical iron deficiency status. Iron supplementation and counselling needs to be considered in regular voluntary blood donors to minimise the risk of iron deficiency. KEYWORDS: Blood donors, iron deficiency, iron stores, serum ferritin.
Year: 2013
Month: July
Volume: 2
Issue: 3
Published on: 12-07-2013