A new study of teenagers in California found that students who donated blood were significantly more likely to be registered as organ donors.
Among the 1,784 students from four different population areas, 953 identified as blood donors. Of those, 314 (32.9%) were registered as organ donors – compared to 198 of the 831 non-blood donors in the survey (23.8%).
The disparity was evident in both male and female donors.
“I don’t really find this surprising,” said Kimberly Monroe, Manager, Business Development in Tissue at South Texas Blood & Tissue Center. “In my experience, when educated about donation, teens often express an interest in registering and will often inquire about how to do so.
“It’s especially true if they are nearing the age to obtain a driver’s license and they find out how easy it is to register when doing so.”
The study, Assessment of High School Students’ Participation in Blood Donation and Registration as an Organ Donor, was published in the JAMA Network.
The study also found that among students who were not registered as organ donors, more than half were willing to register.
The authors of the study discussed that if “expressed willingness to register as an organ donor translates to registration, then simply asking high school students to register as organ donors might increase registration.
“However, intent does not always translate to action.”
Anyone 13 or older can register to be an organ and tissue donor in Texas, but a parent must give permission for donation until age 18.