Page 6 - Description and Evaluation of a Canine Volunteer Blood Donor Program
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Cost for an Initial Donation and Donor Screening

Blood typing Cost ($)
General bloodwork (CBC/organ profile)
IDEXX SNAP test (Heartworm/Lyme/E. canis) 15
Infectious disease screen (E. platys, B. canis, Leptospirosis) 50
Adjunct materials (skin prep, sample tubes, plasma cartons, PCV/TP, etc.) 9
Labor (phlebotomist plus 2 assistants) 80a
Processing/labwork labor/overhead 5
Total (minus G/A expenses) 20

Note. DEA = Dog Erythrocyte Antigen; CBC = complete blood count; PCV = packed cell volume;
TP = total protein; G/A = general/administrative.

FIGURE 1 Amortizing collection and processing costs over multiple donations.

half of this cost was related to donor screening, with repeat donations resulting in
considerable decrements in cost. As can be seen in Figure 1, amortization of the
screening costs over multiple donations results in considerable cost savings to the
blood bank. A minimum of three to four donations per year is sufficient to gain a
large savings benefit from multiple donations per testing period.

A variety of strategies was employed to attract new donors and to encourage re-
peat donations. Each new donor enrolled received a donor ID tag. Follow-up calls
were made to all guardians of animals who were seropositive for blood-borne dis-
eases. Results of laboratory tests were made available to primary care veterinari-
ans—whether or not the potential donor passed infectious disease screening. The
blood bank’s stated policy was that donors earned one free blood product for each
unit donated in the event that they ever required a transfusion: If a dog donated a
450-mL unit of blood and subsequently required a transfusion of packed red blood
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