wouldn’t give more blood even if we
were paid for it, new research suggests. We’d
rather donate it for free.
Paying blood donors is sometimes proposed
as a way to keep the nation’s blood
banks topped up, but a survey in Leeds found
that paying for blood would necessarily not
stop the National Blood Service from running
on empty. Although 16% of people would be
more likely to give blood if paid for it,
a similar number would actually be discouraged
researcher Richard Jones, from biochemistry
and molecular biology, said: “Some people
would be happy to be paid for their blood,
others see it as wrong. One respondent commented
that it ‘went against principles’
for people to be paid.”
Leeds residents were also concerned about
safety. Although two thirds of respondents
would be happy to receive blood from a paid
donor – a vote of confidence in screening
procedures – the other third would not.
may reflect worries that intravenous drug
users will use blood sales to fund their habit,
a morbid trend identified in the USA, where
donors are regularly paid for blood,”
said Dr Jones.
The survey, published in Transfusion Medicine,
showed markedly different results according
to age. Younger respondents seemed happier
for money to be involved in blood ‘transactions’
than older Leeds residents.
When asked how big an incentive they would
need to give blood, one person suggested £1,000
a pint. Fortunately, 80% of people priced
their altruism more reasonably, and suggested
amounts of £10 or less.