Cost-effectiveness of alternative minimum recall intervals between whole blood donations.
Sadique Z., Willis S., Corte KD., Pennington M., Moore C., Kaptoge S., Angelantonio ED., Miflin G., Roberts DJ., Grieve R.
BACKGROUND: The INTERVAL trial showed shorter inter-donation intervals could safely increase the frequency of whole-blood donation. We extended the INTERVAL trial to consider the relative cost-effectiveness of reduced inter-donation intervals. METHODS: Our within-trial cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) used data from 44,863 whole-blood donors randomly assigned to 12, 10 or 8 week (males), and 16, 14 or 12 week inter-donation intervals (females). The CEA analysed the number of whole-blood donations, deferrals including low- haemoglobin deferrals, and donors' health-related quality of life (QoL) to report costs and cost-effectiveness over two years. FINDINGS: The mean number of blood donation visits over two years was higher for the reduced interval strategies, for males (7.76, 6.60 and 5.68 average donations in the 8-, 10- and 12- week arms) and for females (5.10, 4.60 and 4.01 donations in the 12-, 14- and 16- week arms). For males, the average rate of deferral for low haemoglobin per session attended, was 5.71% (8- week arm), 3.73% (10- week), and 2.55% (12- week), and for females the rates were: 7.92% (12-week), 6.63% (14- week), and 5.05% (16- week). Donors' QoL was similar across strategies, although self-reported symptoms were increased with shorter donation intervals. The shorter interval strategies increased average cost, with incremental cost-effectiveness ratios of £9.51 (95% CI 9.33 to 9.69) per additional whole-blood donation for the 8- versus 12- week interval for males, and £10.17 (95% CI 9.80 to 10.54) for the 12- versus 16- week interval arm for females. CONCLUSIONS: Over two years, reducing the minimum donation interval could provide additional units of whole-blood at a small additional cost, including for those donor subgroups whose blood type is in relatively high demand. However, the significance of self-reported symptoms needs to be investigated further before these policies are expanded.