In Ireland, one in four people will require a blood transfusion at some point in their life, yet only 3% of the eligible population donate blood. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of and attitudes towards blood donation among third level students in Cork, Ireland. The demographic of students most likely to donate blood and incentives to encourage blood donation were identified. Peer-reviewed research papers were used to aid in survey design, created using Google Forms. The survey was distributed to registered University College Cork (UCC) and Munster Technological University (MTU) students. Ethical approval and the informed consent of participants was obtained prior to commencement of the study. Statistical analysis of the collated data by Chi-square test was conducted using Microsoft Excel.

Of 330 valid responses, 75.7% of respondents had not donated blood, while 24.2% had donated blood. A correlation was found (p = 0.000192) between age and donation prevalence, with older individuals more likely to donate blood. The primary reason stated for donating was wanting to help others (52% of donors). The primary reason stated for not donating was ineligibility (41% of non-donors). The majority of respondents had not donated, although over half (62% of non-donors) stated that they were likely/very likely to donate in the future. An on-campus blood drive was the most popular incentive for donation (56% of 110 respondents). This study provides a basis for further research and implementing ways to improve blood donation rates among third level students in Ireland.