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October 15, 2008

Adverse Reactions to Blood Donation Among Adolescents

JAMA. 2008;300(15):1759-1760. doi:10.1001/jama.300.15.1759

To the Editor: In their study of adverse reactions to allogeneic whole blood donation by 16- and 17-year-old donors, Dr Eder and colleagues1 concluded that younger high-school donors are at a significantly increased risk of complications compared with their older peers and therefore require an increase in the committed approach to donor safety. These findings are particularly pertinent for regions like the eastern Mediterranean, where blood donations are insufficient to cover the transfusion needs.2 In Greece, as in other countries of the region, increased genetic predisposition to conditions such as thalassemia, seasonal variation of the population due to the tourist industry, barriers to low-age blood donation, and limited willingness to donate blood are factors that have a significant effect on obtaining self-sufficiency within national blood supplies.