Blood donors relax. There is negligible risk ... - CLL Support

CLL Support

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Blood donors relax. There is negligible risk of CLL transmission via blood donation!


I'm very relieved to pass on this post by Irene Irwin to the CLL ACOR list today.

A 30 year study on 1.5 million recipients of blood from 2.1 million individual donors in Denmark and Sweden shows negligible risk of passing on CLL from a donor with MBL/CLL.

"Transmission of monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis/chronic lymphocytic leukemia (MBL/CLL) does not

contribute importantly to CLL risk among transfusion recipients, retrospective analyses of 30 years

of transfusion data have now indicated.

When donor MBL was approximated by subsequent CLL diagnosis, the entire computerized database from

blood banks in both Denmark and Sweden showed no evidence of CLL clustering among 1.5 million

recipients of blood from 2.1 million individual donors.

"Our analyses provide no evidence that donor MBL/CLL transmission in blood products contributes

significantly to CLL risk among transfusion recipients," Henrik Hjalgrim, MD, of the Statens Serum

Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues reported"

So all members who were blood donors, worry no more that your efforts to help others may have put them at risk of developing CLL.

Blood Abstract


Photo: One feather short of a galah

5 Replies

Phew! I often wonder about the poor people who got my CLL cell-laden blood (it was at a standard donation that I was told 'you have no haemoglobin, so go to your doctor' that led to my CLL diagnosis). I had hoped that that my CLL cells just went round recipient and then died, so the recipient only had a short-term blip. My thinking went that, as CLL is really a production defect, the recipient would then be free of them (as their production processes were fine)....this news is a relief that I might have been on the right track

My CLL was diagnosed due to my having donated bloood and suffered immediate effect of swollen nodes and night heats, and just feeling ill. When I was told that I had CLL and that my nodes etc were due to having depleted my blood through donations I was appalled and so worried that I had passed on this scary disease to others.

My doctor informed the blood transfusion service, who in turn rang me to tell me I could no longer donate. I asked what harm had I done to others and was told there is no link that blood from a patient who suffers with CLL could infect a blood recipient.

She went on to say that the reason my blood would not be taken was because of the detrimental affect on me and not any harm it would cause.

Nice to have this confirmed Neil.

Having had to have blood transfusions lately I am pleased I used to donate and have reason to thank the many who continue to donate, now that I understand the need so much more.


Thanks for that neil,I am so relieved to hear that because I have donated blood for years not knowing.

But presumably we won't on this basis be allowed to resume being donors??

Highly unlikely dougstalbans until there is a 100% cure I'm afraid.

Having like many of our community needed blood transfusions to have and recover from chemotherapy, I know how low haemoglobin wipes you out and steals your breath as well as a few other miserable side effects.

Hopefully there are many who will never have to experience this depletion.

Best wishes


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