Medical Student Attitudes Toward Blood Donation in Times of Increased Need

Rahima Khatun, Banan W. Otaibi, Anna Ssentongo, Joshua P. Hazelton, Amanda B. Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: In situations of increased need, such as mass casualty incidents (MCIs) and COVID-19, donated blood products are in shortage across the United States. Medical students are a potential pool for blood donors. The aim of this study was to determine overall attitudes of medical students at a single academic institution toward blood donation during times of increased need. Methods: Three anonymous REDCap surveys were administered to all medical students at a rural academic institution. Surveys 1 and 2 were administered preceding and after an institution-wide MCI drill, in September and November 2019, respectively. Survey 3 was administered following a student-organized COVID-19 blood drive in June 2020. Multivariable analysis was performed to determine if factors, ie, experience with MCI drills and emergency medical services (EMS) training, were associated with willingness to donate blood. Furthermore, barriers to donation among those not willing to donate were assessed. Results: Overall response rate for MCI surveys (surveys 1 and 2) was 38% (mean age 25.2 years and 50% women). 91% (n = 210) of respondents were willing to donate blood. Previous participation in MCI drills and EMS training was not associated with higher willingness to donate blood. Response rate for survey 3 was 15.6% (59.4% women), and 30 (31.3%) respondents indicated they did not volunteer to donate blood during the COVID-19 drive. Most common reasons for not donating were “other,” medical concerns, and being out-of-town. Conclusions: Majority of medical students are willing to donate blood during times of increased need and offer a possible solution to increase blood donor pool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2338-2344
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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