Background: Historically, paid blood donors were found to transmit hepatitis at higher rates than volunteers. In those older studies, paid donors frequently were recruited from prisons or slum areas–a finding consistent with the belief that monetary payment in itself did not necessarily lead to the high‐risk status of commercial blood. Instead, it was the population base from which the donors were recruited that was important. Study Design and Methods: Today, cytapheresis donors are in great demand. Because payment is one incentive that might entice donors to undertake the increased commitment of repeated cytapheresis donation, the results were studied of infectious disease history and laboratory testing performed concurrently in 917 volunteer whole‐blood donors and 1240 paid cytapheresis donors, who were enrolled in distinct programs at the DeGowin Blood Center from October 7, 1987, through November 30, 1990. Results: When first, repeat, and overall donations made by these donors were evaluated separately, paid cytapheresis donors were found to exhibit no increase in infectious disease history or test results beyond those of volunteer whole‐blood donors. Conclusion: Thus, paid cytapheresis donors, when managed within a formal program, should not necessarily be presumed to be more dangerous than volunteers, from an infectious disease aspect. However, definitive proof of safety (comparison of transfusion‐transmitted infection rates in two groups of patients receiving blood components exclusively from either paid cytapheresis or volunteer donors) was not pursued by long‐ term follow‐up studies.
Transfusion – Wiley
Published: Feb 1, 1994
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