Health Advice



Being told where their blood ends up encourages donors to give again – new research

Karen Winterich, Susman Professor in Sustainability and Professor of Marketing, Penn State and Edlira Shehu, Professor of Digital Marketing, University of Groningen, The Conversation on

Published in Health & Fitness

Because not everyone who is eligible to give blood ever donates, there are periodic shortages, which have become more frequent. The Red Cross declared one on Sept. 11, 2023, which it attributed to “back-to-back months of almost constant climate-driven disasters” that made it harder for people who might otherwise have donated blood to be able to do so.

Chronic shortfalls can lead hospitals to postpone transfusions and surgeries.

Unfortunately, some donated blood is discarded rather than used in transfusions and other medical procedures. We plan to discover whether and how organizations that collect donated blood should tell donors when that happens with their blood.

We also aim to analyze whether telling regular donors repeatedly about their blood’s use will make more or less of a difference over time.

The Research Brief is a short take on interesting academic work.


This article is republished from The Conversation, an independent nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. The Conversation has a variety of fascinating free newsletters.

Read more:
Paying all blood donors might not be worth it

Desegregating blood: A civil rights struggle to remember

The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.


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