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A study to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practices about voluntary blood donation amongst the undergraduate medical students in Solan, North India

Sushant Kumar Meinia, Yogesh Kumar, Aashna Meinia, Gagan Singh, Neeti Dutt.

Background: Voluntary blood donation is considered as backbone of blood safety and safe transfusion practices. There is a serious need to improve the recruitment and retention of voluntary donor population to ensure a sustainable safe blood transfusion practice.

Objectives: The objective of our study is to perceive various factors like knowledge, aptitude, and practices about voluntary blood donation among undergraduate medical students so that their doubts and misconceptions regarding blood donation can be removed and they can be inspired to become regular non-remunerated blood donors.

Material and Methods: This study has been carried out among second professional medical students in M.M. Medical College and Hospital, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, North India. Pre-designed and pre-arranged questionnaires were used to evaluate the knowledge, attitude, and practices regarding blood donation among 150 medical students.

Results: Most of the students 123 (82%) were aware about the suitable age group for blood donation and 114 (76%) stated that the minimum gap between donations should be 3 months. Voluntary donors were considered as the inimitable source of blood by 124 (82.67%). There were 85 respondents who had never donated blood and the chief reasons for not donating blood were fear of needle or sight of blood, perception that blood donation can leads to anemia, objection from family members, and never has been asked to donate blood. In total, 65 (43.4%) respondents had donated blood in the past and out of this, 44 (67.69%) respondent donates one time in a year, and 21 (32.31%) donates more than one time in a year. Out of 65 respondents who have previously donated blood, 25 (38.46%) had donated voluntarily whereas 40 (61.54%) had donated on replacement basis.

Conclusion: Awareness sessions on voluntary blood donation should be held regularly to create positive attitude, and to remove misconceptions among the college students about voluntary blood donation.

Key words: Attitude, knowledge, practices, replacement, students, voluntary

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