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21 September 2017

 

Blood donors can safely increase the frequency with which they give blood, according to the findings of the first ever randomised trial of the issue, published today.

The British researchers say that men could donate every eight weeks and women every 12 weeks.

At present the shortest period allowed between donations in the UK is 12 weeks for men and 16 weeks for women.

Some 45,000 people took part in the study, reported today in The Lancet.

The researchers say the increased rate of donation had no major impact on donors’ quality of life, including mental function and physical activity – although some reported extra tiredness and restless legs.

They report that those most able to give blood frequently were above average weight and had high iron levels.

The frequent donors had their haemoglobin levels monitored during the study – and about a third were asked to delay donation at least once because of low levels.

The researchers say that in future it may be possible to provide 'personalised' frequencies to donors.

Researcher Professor John Danesh, of Cambridge University, UK, said: 'This study suggests that more frequent blood donation is a feasible and safe option for donors in the UK, and gives blood services the short-term option of more frequent collection from donors if the supply falls or demand rises.'

 

Source: Lancet 21 September 2017
Link: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(17)31928-1/fulltext

 

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