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Why does this prevent me giving blood?

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by Waterfin, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. Waterfin

    Waterfin New commenter

    One of the criteria that straight away remove you from the list of those they will accept to donate blood is
    "You have received blood or think you may have received blood during the course of any medical treatment or procedure anywhere in the world since 1st January 1980. "
    I am wondering why this is the case. I had to have transfusions after the birth of my first child and was determined to keep doing my bit and continue to donate blood when I was fit to, but have been unable to.
  2. I always thought it was due to the scandal of people getting some infectious disease from blood transfusions during the 1980s/1990s-I can't remember exactly what disease it was but I know there was a big outcry about it.
  3. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/feb/23/haemophilia-blood-hiv-hepatitis

    That's the reason why, I think. I got the dates a bit out.
  4. I thought it was connected with vCJD. I too cannot give blood due to a transfusion in 2005.
  5. madenglishgirl

    madenglishgirl New commenter

    This is very close to my heart at the moment...
    I can understand about infectious diseases such as CJD/Hepatitis/HIV etc. but blood is screened so rigorously nowadays that it doesn't seem likely any 'infected' blood would have been used in a transfusion since at least the 90s.
  6. As far as I know, blood is not screened for vCJD. There is a test which can detect it in blood, but it is not used for screening donor blood. Since anyone testing positive would be informed, it is thought screening would deter people from donating.
  7. Waterfin

    Waterfin New commenter

    At first I thought it was due to the CJD etc thing and that blood now is better screened. However it seems that anyone who has had blood as part of a treatment even in the last month or two is now no longer able to donate. Does this mean that they don't trust the screening process?
    All I can think about is the sheer number of people precluded from giving blood due to this limitation.
  8. There have been cases of people being infected with CJD from blood products. Since blood isnt screened for CJD and the NHS has no idea how many people are carrying this disease, they are having to play it safe by banning anyone donating who has had a transfusion since the 1980s. It was, after all, in the 1980s that CJD appeared in cattle and people started dying from the variant form. I assume if you'd had a blood transfusion in the 1960s, you'd be allowed to donate.
  9. jubileebabe

    jubileebabe New commenter

    Same here although I have never had a blood transfusion. I live in Italy and am not allowed to give blood simply because I am British [​IMG]
  10. Its the same in Australia, but looking at it from the other side of the coin, better safe than sorry.
  11. I'm not allowed to give blood due to a treatment i had when i was born called ECMO. The was taken from my body and pumped through a machine to give my damaged lungs a chance to heal. I was never given any blood but i'm still not allowed to give :( it's annoying as i've grown up watching my dad give, he recently gave his 50th donation. And blood saved my mums life when i was a kid, so i'd like to give something back :(
  12. polly.glot

    polly.glot New commenter

    My son is permanently banned from donating blood because he spent a year in the UK in 1996.

  13. Just wondering - why does that stop him donating?
  14. polly.glot

    polly.glot New commenter

    He is unable to donate here in New Zealand owing to his potential exposure to vCJD in the UK.
  15. Yes, I believe this is all due to exposure to vCJD, because whilst blood is routinely screened for HIV, Hepatitis etc, it is not screened for vCJD for fear of putting an awful lot of people off donating blood. We honestly have no idea how many people are incubating this disease, nor how many carriers will eventually develop the illness.
  16. It is indeed because of vCJD. Blood cannot yet be screened for this, so there is no way of detecting who is a carrier, but we do know the infection can be passed on via blood. If you received blood since 1980 you could potentially have received it from a vCJD carrier as this is when the illness emerged. The reason why other countries ban people who have lived/spent time in Britain from donating is in case those people ate beef or beef products when there was CJD in the food chain - although Britain wasn't the only country affected by CJD, so it seems silly really. Beef is produced in much healthier ways in this country than it is in the US or indeed much of the rest of the world!

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