Thanks to everyone who replied – you really saved me!
RESULTS for my field work:
Here are the questions I asked:
Do you donate blood? (Yes/No)
If so, how often? (<1x a year, 1x a year, >1x a year)
If not, why? (It hurts/I don’t like needles/Blood freaks me out/No Reason)
Are you aware of the requirements for donating to babies? (Yes/No)
If you knew, would that change your mind regarding donating? (Yes/No)
I asked 30 people these questions, of which 6 were male and 24 were female, the majority of whom were 36 years or older.
67% of respondents answered they do NOT donate blood. The reason was 80% “Other”, and all of those respondents elaborated that there were health reasons that caused them to not be able to donate. The other 20% of the respondents who answered no equally stated that they do not like needles or that it hurt too much.
Of those who DO donate blood, 40% donate <1 time a year, 40% donate once a year, and 20% donate multiple times a year.
80% of the respondents had no clue that there were special requirements for donating to babies, let alone what those requirements are.
I confirmed this information – most of the population has CMV, a common viral pathogen found in all population groups. Nearly all CMV infected people are asymtomatic. It causes few problems for healthy individuals. But in newborns and immunocompromised individuals, it may produce a variety of disease processes. To donate to these groups, you must not carry this virus……and only about 15% of the population does not carry it.
Since the majority of the respondents could not donate due to health reasons, knowing the requirements didn’t make a difference in their desire or ability to donate blood. Therefore, 67% said knowing would not make a different. 20% said this information would change their mind, including some individuals who currently donate – they shared they would be willing to donate more often if they knew their blood was being used to help babies. However, at this point I realized that, even knowing this information, they have a high likelihood of being CMV Positive, so their blood would not be given to babies.
This field work was interesting, in that is quantified many of the things I have felt existed for some time. Hearing specifics and analyzing them was very interesting. I also realized most women, at least in my case, were more willing to respond to me, let alone answer my questions. I also found that my questions could have been much more valuable in nature – I am not sure asking the questions about the babies gleaned as much information as I had hoped. I am not sure the data I collected helped me to suggest what changes could be made to encourage people to donate as most who do not, can’t.