Intended for healthcare professionals


Promoting blood donation among British Muslims

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 22 May 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:1152
  1. Aziz Sheikh, postdoctoral fellow,
  2. A R Gatrad, consultant paediatrician (
  1. Manor Hospital, Walsall
  2. St George's Hospital Medical School, London

    In our experience, rates of blood donation among some black and other ethnic minority groups are currently very poor, increasing the difficulty of finding matched blood for people from these groups who need emergency transfusion. We have found that less than 2% of people attending blood donation sessions in the West Midlands—an area with a high proportion of people of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin—were from ethnic minority communities.

    The National Blood Transfusion Service is introducing a question on ethnic origin in its health check forms for donors. This development is to be welcomed, for at least two reasons. Such categorisation should make it easier to find blood for people who have rare blood types. And, with the implementation of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, for the first time there will be the means to monitor service delivery to ethnic minority groups, …

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