Can't give blood

Hi all,

Just a bit of info I found out yesterday. I've been a regular blood donor for years and was nearly at my 30th donation. I called to advise them of my PMR and, while I obviously didn't expect to be able to continue donating, I was told that I can't do so until I've been clear of using steroids for a full 12 months. If things go to plan that's 3 years away yet. I was pretty upset as I like to do my bit but have said I will try to recruit someone to take my place. As I say, just info...and a place to moan where people understand.

16 Replies

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  • Me too! (just 2 away from my silver badge!)

    Still I reckon a) we wouldn't want to pass on our PMR to any recipients lol! b) we certainly wouldn't want to pass on all those steroids and associated side effects and c) quite possibly we need to be a little selfish during this illness and hang on to our own blood for a while!!!

    Keep the faith!

    Blessings x

  • I managed to get my silver badge, but had to give up when I started certain blood pressure tablet (can't remember which one as started on a cocktail of tablets - as was thinking in those days) years ago. Now off it, but passed the age limit now! V.disappointing, but as you say, it is what it is!

  • Phew, I just managed my 50th before GCA and preds so I can empathise!

  • Lucky all you people who gave multiple donations of our precious resource!

    I had only given my first and it turns out last, when I was diagnosed hypothyroid and bunged onto pills and BP meds too. End of good intentions. 😳🙁

  • Please feel better when you hear that I was stopped from donating blood years ago because I had spent a total of over six months (several visits) in the UK post mad cow disease. No one in Canada who has spent six months or more, cumulative, in the UK is allowed to donate.

  • Just as well the UK Blood Transfusion Service doesn't contribute to the concept!

  • It was, actually, part of a complete overhaul of the system after many people contracted HIV through blood transfusions in the '80s. Since then the screening has been extremely rigorous. But I was disappointed because I'd been a fairly regular although by necessity infrequent donor since uni days.

  • I think it needed it in some places - I don't know about Canada but the US system always seemed rather risky to me and there was a period in the UK where blood products were bought from the US and quite a few haemophiliacs developed nasties due to the sources used. Many died.

  • The US pays blood donors. This attracts at risk people of course. I'm not sure why this tragedy happened in Canada, it was to do with inadequate screening, but once it became plain what was going on the Red Cross, which had been denying responsibility, was relieved of the program and a new organization put into place. I continued to donate blood up until the trip which took me over the six months, which seems kind of silly.

  • I'll say! If that was UK policy I wouldn't be here. After my accident 11 years ago, I needed 11 units of blood! Our bods only take 7!

    Bit lucky there I would say.😏

  • Me too! I've been banned from giving blood in the US ever since I spent six months in the U.K. In 1985.

  • Seems every country looks at their neighbours with a jaundiced eye...

    The last time I tried to give blood (in the UK) they asked the usual check questions. When I said I'd just got back from visiting my husband, then working in Texas, I was rejected. Apparently the risk was Nile fever, which was a new one to me. (Naively thought they'd mis-heard, and protested I'd said Texas, not Egypt!)

  • Before I developed P.M.R. I had a blood transfusion following a hip replacement. When I went for my next donation I was told I could never give blood again as I had had a transfusion. I actually cried! Ironic isn't it? I was almost at my 50th donation and five years on I still feel deprived every time I go past the Blood Donor centre.

  • Tonysue, that would also have been a new thing, well, relatively speaking. I had to have four units of blood one time, I was in my late twenties, and after a few years (I had my children in between) I started being a blood donor again and it was never an issue. Got rejected a few times because of low iron, but was able to donate back, and more, the blood I'd been given before getting banned permanently. I think we need to be happy that the system is so rigid now.

  • Just a side question - can we be organ donors? It's on my drivers license

  • As far as I know - but the criteria are different for various organs and probably various countries. Even some cancer survivors are acceptable for some things I believe.

    organdonation.nhs.uk/faq/el...

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