|Home | About | Journals | Submit | Contact Us | Français|
I would like to thank the reader for thought provoking and extremely relevant points that have been raised in response to our study.
I completely agree that the percentage of voluntary donors in our study at 14.3% is very low. However, due to sustained efforts at recruiting voluntary donors in association with various voluntary blood donation organizations, the percentage of voluntary donors in the blood bank of the hospital where the study was carried out has progressively increased to 25.99% in 2006, 35.9% in 2007 and 42.27% in 2008, the years subsequent to the study period.
The recommendation of replacement donors to meet the requirement of blood in the setting of Armed Forces based on the results of this study was made only because of the shortage of voluntary donors, since both groups come from presumably a similar background with a similar risk of transfusion transmitted disease in Armed Forces. We agree that data from one study cannot be extrapolated to the entire Armed Forces Medical Services and that, in the larger national perspective, voluntary donations are to be encouraged.
The hypothesis of better socioeconomic status of blood donors was only made in the context of replacement donors who are the relatives of serving personnel. Since they are widely scattered, often coming from great distances to donate blood for their relatives, it will be extremely difficult to recruit and retain them as voluntary donors for the Armed Forces, though they can be motivated to donate blood for society in general.
In the future, as the reader has pointed out, the use of newer tests and strategies will undoubtedly lead to further improvements in the safety of blood transfusion.