A randomised trial of strategies to determine donor haemoglobin levels.

Chief investigator: Dr Emanuele Di Angelantonio
Location/InstitutionUniversity of Cambridge
Funder: NHSBT Research and Development Committee
NHSBT Research Theme: Blood Donor Health


Maintaining the health and wellbeing of donors is essential for NHSBT. The studies led by Dr Emanuele Di Angelantonio at the University of Cambridge aim to protect and improve donor’s health.

The COMPARE study is a randomised clinical trial of different haemoglobin screening strategies for whole blood donation. Currently, haemoglobin levels are checked every time a donor comes to give blood using a drop of blood taken from the fingertip (and in some case a subsequent venous sample is also required). This check is done to ensure that giving blood won't make the donor anaemic. However, other EU countries have adopted a different strategy, using donor’s haemoglobin value measured after donation to determine their suitability for the subsequent donation.

The ongoing clinical trial will test whether non-invasive and more donor-friendly approaches could improve haemoglobin measurement while avoiding unnecessary finger prick test.

Much of the research led by Dr Di Angelantonio is performed in conjunction with the NIHR BTRU in Donor Health and Genomics at the University of Cambridge.