Economics of Blood Donation

Readers Question: Do you know if there is a link between an economic downturn and blood donation?

Does more people unemployed mean people have more time to donate blood, are unemployed people under to much stress to donate blood or should governments pay for blood donars.

First it depends whether blood donation is free (charitable offering) or paid for. It varies on the country. In the UK, blood supplies are done on a voluntary basis. In the US, blood donation is free. Plasma is paid for.

If we focus on the UK. In the UK, to give blood requires a voluntary donation. Therefore, people need the time and willingness to give blood for altuistic reasons.

An increase in unemployment may mean people have more time to give blood. But, in practise I doubt that it would cause an increase in supply.

  • Firstly, many blood donations are arranged by firms who agree to give employers time off work during the work day.
  • Secondly, it is possible that if you are unemployed you are more likely to be depressed and stressed therefore, you don’t feel inspired to go and give blood.

In times of unemployment presumably paying for blood donations would presumably have a bigger impact on encouraging people to supply the service.

The World Health Organization set a goal in 1997 for all blood donations to come from unpaid volunteer donors, but as of 2006, only 49 of 124 countries surveyed had established this as a standard.

If you feel like giving blood you can contact the National blood service

4 thoughts on “Economics of Blood Donation”

  1. Hi great article. I was the reader who posed the question. I have set up a blood donation campaign which encourages stadiums to set up annual blood donation events, its an idea which is popular in America. I am already in talks with another NFL team and an English Premier League team.

    Please support the campaign at:

  2. hey…that was really useful, thx.. but could you elaborate on other possible impacts that the economic climate can have on blood donation??? don’t you think that it affects donation primarily in terms of funding?

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