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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

VASQUEZ, Marcela; IBARRA, Patricia  and  MALDONADO, Mónica. Blood donation: knowledge and attitudes of a university population in Chile. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2007, vol.22, n.5, pp. 323-328. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892007001000005.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the knowledge and attitudes of students, professors, and other staff at the University of Talca, Chile, regarding voluntary blood donation. METHODS: From June to July 2002 a previously-validated survey was administered to 487 individuals in the university community. The survey sought to measure their understanding of blood donation, i.e., motivators and reasons for becoming a blood donor and the myths and fears that might deter blood donation. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. RESULTS: Only 14% of survey participants had donated blood in the past, and most of these (43.3%) were professors or other academics. Of the participants who were planning to donate blood in the future, students were the majority (88.1%). When the males in the group that was planning to donate were compared to the females, the difference was not statistically significant (90.0% vs. 84.2%, respectively). Of the deterrents to blood donation, 73.4% said the collection instruments might not be sterile. CONCLUSIONS: The university population represents a pool of desirable donors; an informative and motivating campaign could successfully convert the 87.3% potential donors into actual volunteer blood donors.

Keywords : Blood donors; universities; attitude; Chile.

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