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Old 07-13-2009, 06:12 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can't donate blood because I am European!

There are lots of rules about blood donation, including a ban on men who've had sexual contact with other men, even if it was safe. Even if they're tested as disease-free.
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can't donate blood because I am European!

I thought it was only the UK that had incidences of vCJD so had a wee look, but apparently not. But its very rare. Even in the country that 'screwed up', theres only been 168 cases since 1995. Hardly a pandemic. But there have been cases elsewhere and its already in the USA and 5 cases in Spain.

Up to date stats here

http://www.cjd.ed.ac.uk/vcjdworld.htm

Seeing as its so rare, banning people from donating blood on the basis of nationality is, to put it mildly, a little crazy. But such is life. If you want to live in another country, you have to abide by the rules ... although in this case I do feel rather insulted on your behalf, Maria.
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can't donate blood because I am European!

They can make all the rules they want. I'd rather be safe.
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:38 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can't donate blood because I am European!

Quote:
Originally Posted by marie73
They can make all the rules they want. I'd rather be safe.
I think to a degree I'd definitely agree with that, but there has to be a balance between being safe and ensuring theres enough blood to go around. For example, people should not be banned because of their sexual orientation - blatant discrimination! Heterosexual people get AIDS too!

If the USA is anything like over here, I bet theres always a call for more blood donors.

And consider this - about 200 people since 1995 have got vCJD. How many people do you think are involved in a road accident in the USA every year? Well there has been an estimated 7689 deaths from Jan to March 2009 alone let alone people who have survived. And many of those would have required blood transfusions.

Paranoia is all well and good .. but I prefer common sense!!
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can't donate blood because I am European!

I've been turned away because my iron level was too low, my temperature was too high and my pulse was too fast, and once, all three were true at the same time.

Now the pulse reason seem a little extreme to me, who doesn't get nervous? But I still don't care. Anything put in place to protect me, or someone else, is fine.
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:47 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can't donate blood because I am European!

Hmm. If I was given the choice of bleeding to death or accepting a blood donation from someone who pulse was too high, I'd take my chances with the blood thanks. I understand the concept behind it but theres a point where things get a little OTT.

I wonder what the regulations in the UK are? Never thought to look.
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:57 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can't donate blood because I am European!

Seems the UK has a lot of strict rules, too.

Quote:
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.
Quote:
Anyone of any race who has been sexually active in parts of the world where AIDS/HIV is very common. This includes countries in Africa.
https://secure.blood.co.uk/c11_cant.asp
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Old 07-13-2009, 07:08 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can't donate blood because I am European!

Thanks Marie. Rather informative. I've just read why we discriminate against gay men when accepting blood. Makes for interesting reading.
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Old 07-13-2009, 07:40 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can't donate blood because I am European!

Again, "discriminate" seems like a strange choice of words.

In the first world, gay men and IV drug users represent a very small percentage of the population, but a very large percentage of people with HIV. (The next biggest group is women who have sex with men who use IV drugs or have sex with men, who are also barred for donating). By barring them from donating, blood banks can eliminate a very large percentage of the risks by eliminating a very small percentage of the donors.

Are they excessively conservative in some cases? Certainly they are. But, I don't see that as being "discrimination" any more than Locks of Love discriminates against short-haired people by not using short hair or Goodwill is discriminating against poor people by not taking donations of appliances that don't work. Agencies who accept donations want donations that suit their needs, and in the case of blood donations, that means blood from people who are a low risk for blood-borne illness.

Again, remember that the point of blood donation isn't the blood donor, and it's not being conducted for the donor's benefit. It's about giving blood -- healthy blood -- to sick or injured people who need it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melysion
Hmm. If I was given the choice of bleeding to death or accepting a blood donation from someone who pulse was too high, I'd take my chances with the blood thanks. I understand the concept behind it but theres a point where things get a little OTT.
That one I'm pretty sure has nothing to do with the the blood being dangerous. I'm guessing that, like minimum weight requirements and iron levels, are aimed at reducing the number of donors who pass out in the parking lot afterwards.
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:21 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can't donate blood because I am European!

This about protecting the poor person that needs a blood transfusion. It's not about insulting nationalities...if an American lived in Europe for a lengthy time, they are excluded as well. Remember when people who had transfusions before they started screening for HIV ended up contracting it? How would you feel if you or a loved one managed to survive an illness or accident only to contract vCJD or some other disease. I don't think we're in any danger of blood supply shortage under normal conditions. And when emergencies occur, plenty of people go donate as soon as the Red Cross yells they need it, people who don't normally donate on a regular basis.

I'm happy to have regulations in place to protect me and my family & friends.
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