Italians, transfusion medicine and blood donation


To what extent are citizens aware of the issues related to blood donation and transfusion? What are the main attitudes towards blood donation and the main resistances to giving blood?

The survey “Gli italiani, la medicina trasfusionale e la donazione di sangue” conducted by Observa for the National Blood Centre provides a broad overview on the attitudes Italian citizens take in this field. There is, first, a widespread awareness of the importance of the issue: nearly eight out of ten Italians find the availability of blood in Italy lacking in or barely sufficient to cover the demand. Information in the strictest sense is less widespread: around one Italian in two is little or not informed at all of blood and related themes.

Laziness (40.5%), emotional resistances (the fear of blood and the needle features 36% of non-donors) and scepticism towards institutions and medical staff (12%) are the main obstacles to donation. Among the most important reasons capable of persuading ‘lazy’ citizens to become donors one would be the possibility to donate at the work/study place and a greater speed and effectiveness of health inspections prior to donation. The perceived lack of competence on the side of doctors and nurses (42.9%) along with the inadequacy and insufficient hygiene attributed to health service (31%) are the main reasons holding the sceptics back.

For 81% there are no risks in giving blood, but it should not be overlooked that almost one out of two Italians (47.7%) considers risky to receive a transfusion. In this case what worries the most are mainly the provenience of blood (38.5%) and the lack of security of health facilities (30.2%).