Impact of disasters on blood donation rates and blood safety: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Laermans J, O D, Van den Bosch E, De Buck E, Compernolle V, Shinar E, Vandekerckhove P
Vox sanguinis. 2022
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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES Timely and adequate access to safe blood forms an integral part of universal health coverage, but it may be compromised by natural or man-made disasters. This systematic review provides MATERIALS AND METHODS Five databases (The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science and CINAHL) were searched until 27 March 2020 for (un)controlled studies investigating the impact of disasters on blood donation rates and/or safety. Risk of bias and overall certainty of the evidence were assessed using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. RESULTS Eighteen observational studies were identified, providing very low certainty of evidence (due to high risk of bias, inconsistency and/or imprecision) on the impact of natural (12 studies) and man-made/technological (6 studies) disasters. The available evidence did not enable us to form any generalizable conclusions on the impact on blood donation rates. Meta-analyses could not detect any statistically significant changes in transfusion-transmissible infection (TTI) rates [hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1/2, human T-lymphotropic virus I and II (HTLV-I/II) and syphilis] in donated blood after a disaster, either in first-time or repeat donors, although the evidence is very uncertain. CONCLUSION The very low certainty of evidence synthetized in this systematic review indicates that it is very uncertain whether there is an association between disaster occurrence and changes in TTI rates in donated blood. The currently available evidence did not allow us to draw generalizable conclusions on the impact of disasters on blood donation rates.