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The Growing Need for Diverse Blood Donors

MacIntyre, Linda M. PhD, RN

AJN The American Journal of Nursing: July 2017 - Volume 117 - Issue 7 - p 44–48
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000520945.31600.3f
Feature Articles

Research shows that phenotype matching can improve the outcomes of people who receive repeated transfusions. In addition, the demographics of the United States are shifting, and more ethnically and racially diverse donors are needed. These factors have health implications and require ongoing efforts to ensure a safe and adequate U.S. blood supply. Nurses can help to develop and implement strategies to increase the number and diversity of blood donors, ensuring donations better match the needs of transfusion recipients daily and in the event of a public health emergency.

The chief nurse of the American Red Cross discusses how changing demographics in the United States necessitate an increase in more ethnically diverse blood donors, and shares strategies nurses can use to address and raise awareness about this need.

Linda M. MacIntyre is the chief nurse of the American Red Cross, Washington, DC. Contact author: The author is grateful to Catherine Mazzei, MD, medical director, Northern California Blood Services Region, and Mary O'Neill, MD, interim chief medical officer, Medical Office, both of the American Red Cross, for their review of this article. The author has disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.