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Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal

Print version ISSN 1020-3397

East. Mediterr. health j. vol.13 no.4 Cairo July/Aug. 2007




Supply of donated blood in the Islamic Republic of Iran, 2001-2002 Sir



M.M. ShooshtariI; A.A. PourfathollahII

IResearch Centre, Iranian Blood Transfusion Organization, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran (
IIHaematology & Blood Bank Department, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran



The Iranian Blood Transfusion Organization was established in May 1974 with a mission to ensure effective and safe transfusion therapy throughout the country. We report here on the blood supply status in the Islamic Republic of Iran during the 12-month period 21 March 2001-20 March 2002.

A total of 1 582 622 applicant blood donors were registered in 28 provinces throughout the country. After taking their medical history, 221 301 (14.0%) were rejected. The most common reasons were high/low blood pressure (24.1%), taking medication (12.2%) and having a cold/sore throat (5.2%). After completing the application form and reading the information in the blood transfusion booklet, 6.2% of the applicants refused to donate blood (self-deferral).

Table 1 shows the number of blood donations in each province during the year under study. It is recognized that volunteer donors provide the safest blood supply [1]; none of the donors received remuneration. Of a total of 1 361 365 donations, 108 950 (8.0%) were from family/replacement donors and 1 252 415 (92.0%) from voluntary donors. This is much higher than the < 40% of blood donations [2] from voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors reported for countries with a low and medium human development index (HDI) [a measure of development derived from 3 basic components of human development: life expectancy at birth; adult literacy rate plus school enrolment ratio; and per capita gross domestic product (GDP)] [3].

Table 2 shows the number of blood components prepared from whole blood for the period 21 March 2001-20 March 2002. Effective clinical transfusion practice requires that whole blood be separated into its components. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, < 10% of blood is transfused as whole blood. The availability and use of blood components is limited in many low and medium HDI countries: the use of whole blood is around 10 times higher in these countries compared to high HDI countries, e.g. > 90% is transfused as whole blood in Bangladesh, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India and Nepal [2].

Globally, the blood donation rate per 1000 population is almost 20 times (41-50 units) higher in developed countries (high HDI) than in countries with a low HDI (0-10 units) [2]. In comparison, in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the blood donation rate per 1000 population is almost 21 units.



1. Nuchprayoon C. Achievement of blood program in Thailand. Paper presented at the Organisation & Management of Blood Transfusion Services Plans & Policies International Conference, 21-25 November 1998, Mumbai, India.

2.   Global database on blood safety: summary report, 1998-99. Geneva, World Health Organization, Blood Transfusion Safety, 2001.

3. United Nations Development Programme. Human development report 2003. New York, Oxford University Press, 2003:237.