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Old 04-29-2008, 02:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Should campus ban blood drives because gay men arent allowed to donate?

Quote:
Sonoma State Universitys Academic Senate has approved a resolution opposing blood drives on campus claiming they discriminate against gay men.

Thursdays 21-13 vote conflicts with a vote by the Associated Students Senate that supports the monthly blood drives on campus. The votes are non-binding and a decision on the issue rests with SSU President Dr. Ruben Arminana.

Susan Kashack, associate vice president for communications and marketing, said Arminana is out of town and has not taken a position on the issue.

The Academic Senate resolution urges the university to immediately rescind the authorization of blood drives on campus.

The Food and Drug Administrations guidelines prohibit blood donations from men who have had sex with another man since 1977 to prevent donations of blood that might contain the HIV virus.

The resolution states that policy may have made sense when it was first implemented, because then the cause of AIDS was unknown and the disease seemed to target gay men preferentially.

However, 24 years later, the cause of AIDS is known, and the HIV virus that causes AIDS is routinely screened for in donated blood, the resolution states.

The issue arose in March when SSU professor Rick Luttmann challenged the blood drives on campus, claiming they discriminate against gays. He drafted a resolution calling on the SSU administration to rescind them immediately.

The monthly SSU blood drives provide the Blood Bank of the
Redwoods with about 5 percent of its total supply in Sonoma County.

Kashack said 38 percent of the countrys population is eligible to give blood but only 5 percent of eligible donors do so.

The issue also has been debated at San Jose State University where President Don Kassing announced a campuswide ban earlier this year on blood drives based on the schools anti-discrimination policy.

The SSU Academic Senate resolution states SSU can join San Jose State University, the University of California at Berkeley and many other universities and organizations to force the government to confront and reverse this discriminatory gesture.

Source
I dont like the idea of banning blood drives on campuses. I do believe that the rule banning gay men from donating is out of date, but they shouldnt take away the chances of other people donating.

Blood donations are low in quantities, but taking away life saving substances from people in need to make a stand is, in my mind, a really shitty way to do it.
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Old 04-29-2008, 02:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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People get their panties in a wad over the DUMBEST things.

If they feel that strongly about the policy, why don't they start petitioning the Red Cross or something? I agree that banning them outright doesn't help anyone.
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Old 04-29-2008, 02:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Sure that rule seems a little out dated. But banning it entirely because a certain group on campus can't donate? Give me a break.

Donating blood is about saving lives, and boycotting blood donation is one of the stupidest things that I have ever heard.
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Old 04-29-2008, 02:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Gay isn't an STD and HIV is detectable. Non-issue.
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Old 04-29-2008, 02:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My university campus had a bit of a brouhaha over this issue a couple of years ago, but it wasn't much of one, because most people came to the realization that a boycott would come at the cost of human lives. Our blood drive is huge, and collects more blood than any other blood drive in the state. It's unfortunate that this outdated rule prevents perfectly acceptable donors from donating, but there are other conditions that prevent people from donating too--travel to certain parts of the world, for instance. I'm a regular blood donor at the campus blood drive--I like it because it comes at a good interval between donations, and being a big blood drive, it's well-organized and well-staffed. Plus, there are always donuts and free Pepsi.

A boycott is not the answer to this problem.
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Old 04-29-2008, 03:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The way I understand it, the point of banning a group from coming on campus is to hurt the group directly, strong arming them into changing their minds. While this will hurt the group collecting the blood, the greater negative impact will be felt by people who are sick. Banning blood drives to hurt FDA is idiotic and completely ineffective. Beyond that, it makes the school look incredibly stupid.
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Old 04-29-2008, 03:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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its ridiculous. "let people die so gay men can give blood." as will said: non issue.
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Old 04-29-2008, 03:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Having worked in the Ryan Wayne White clinic I don't really give a shit about politically correct blood donation.
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Old 04-29-2008, 03:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Banning donation on the basis of sexual orientation is impossibly old-fashioned.

I agree with the boycott. After all, if you want to donate blood, it's not necessary to wait until a bus pulls up on your doorstep.
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Old 04-29-2008, 04:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Don't ask, don't tell. Sheesh.
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Old 04-29-2008, 04:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thinking...

the last time I gave blood, I was asked if I had traveled to Haiti or Africa and had sex there...are they discriminating against students who have come from Haiti or the continent of Africa, as well? Somehow, I think not.

The ban is stupid. Needs to end.
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Old 04-29-2008, 05:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mixedmedia
Thinking...

the last time I gave blood, I was asked if I had traveled to Haiti or Africa and had sex there...are they discriminating against students who have come from Haiti or the continent of Africa, as well? Somehow, I think not.

The ban is stupid. Needs to end.
Somehow, you think absolutely incorrectly. If you were to answer "yes" to either of those questions, you would not be allowed to donate. The same goes for extended travel or stay in a multitude of other countries around the world where blood borne and sexually transmitted diseases are more common-eastern Europe and southeast Asia, to name a few.

Either way, the FDA is the agency determining what the conditions are for being allowed to donate blood. Any protest action should be against them to change what is, admittedly, a dated and now pointless rule. Protesting the group who is trying to collect blood for donation is pointless and, as people have already said, only harms people who need the blood to survive. It's unlikely to reach the FDA's ears, and, if it does, it's unlikely to make them give even a moment's pause.
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Old 04-29-2008, 05:35 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mixedmedia
The ban is stupid. Needs to end.
Have you had patients who were children with aids from blood transfusions?

I have.

I can't say I worry too much about HIV high risk groups being banned from donating blood. There is a delay between infection and testing positive to the disease. If it hurts some feelings, tell that to the kids I worked on who are most likely dead by now.
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Old 04-29-2008, 05:36 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosstbyte
Somehow, you think absolutely incorrectly. If you were to answer "yes" to either of those questions, you would not be allowed to donate. The same goes for extended travel or stay in a multitude of other countries around the world where blood borne and sexually transmitted diseases are more common-eastern Europe and southeast Asia, to name a few.

Either way, the FDA is the agency determining what the conditions are for being allowed to donate blood. Any protest action should be against them to change what is, admittedly, a dated and now pointless rule. Protesting the group who is trying to collect blood for donation is pointless and, as people have already said, only harms people who need the blood to survive. It's unlikely to reach the FDA's ears, and, if it does, it's unlikely to make them give even a moment's pause.
Well, I stand corrected. Thank you for the clarification. I wasn't aware that folks from Haiti or the continent of Africa were denied from giving blood in the US.

Still, given current statistics, I think the ban is ludicrous. And there's nothing inherently wrong with people boycotting if it means that much to them.
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Old 04-29-2008, 08:56 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The boycott is just plain assinine. If its an outdated policy, petition the FDA to change it. The blood supply is dangerously low as it is. It makes no sense to deplete it further because a sub-group is excluded.
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:11 PM   #16 (permalink)
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im going to say whats been said before.

this is friggin' stupid and we all know it. some of the regulations they have for giving blood are ludicrous.

I remember i tried to give blood in highschool. they turned me down because i was 16. I remember how badly it pissed me off. i walked away thinking "What does age have anything to do with it!?! i want a goddamn juice and cookie!"

yeah, i know. i was pissed off for the wrong reason, but still... If your clean, you should be able to donate. its as simple as that.
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Old 04-30-2008, 03:49 AM   #17 (permalink)
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People are getting their panties in a twist for nothing.

I can't donate blood. Why? Because I have spent too much time in the UK over the years, the land of the mad cow, and Canadian Blood Clinics preclude people who have spent a certain amount of time in the UK and parts of Europe from giving blood on the one in a 100 million chance we've picked up mad cow disease at some point in the last 20 years.

I think it's a silly decision on their part as the odds are very low and I'm not sure there's a lot of evidence for transmission of mad cow disease via blood transfusions, but I wouldn't suggest boycotting or closing blood clinics because they discriminate against Brits.
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:28 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highthief
People are getting their panties in a twist for nothing.

I can't donate blood. Why? Because I have spent too much time in the UK over the years, the land of the mad cow, and Canadian Blood Clinics preclude people who have spent a certain amount of time in the UK and parts of Europe from giving blood on the one in a 100 million chance we've picked up mad cow disease at some point in the last 20 years.

I think it's a silly decision on their part as the odds are very low and I'm not sure there's a lot of evidence for transmission of mad cow disease via blood transfusions, but I wouldn't suggest boycotting or closing blood clinics because they discriminate against Brits.
Your more likely to catch vCJD from cows in the US than you are in the UK. Us Brits certainly don't stop each other donating because we might have picked up the disease. Your also more likely to catch rabies and the plague, but thats just a sidenote.

Does someone have any information about what kinds of testing they do for diseases in donated blood?

The whole issue is a bunch of students being hippies. Give them a slap.
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:35 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Hippies? In Sonoma? More like yuppies. Yuppie children who want to look like activists.

Campus blood drives should never, ever be banned.
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Old 04-30-2008, 06:11 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Excluding homosexuals from donating blood is antiquated and IMHO perpetuates the belief that those who are gay are deviate in their sexual behavior and carelessly participate in dangerous sexual behavior.

The policies prohibiting gays from donating was a knee jerk over two decades ago before any of these students in the campus blood drives were born. Since this policy was formed, there has been greater education and understand as to what people need to do to prevent the spread of HIV.

Two HIV free gay men are no more of a risk to the nation's blood supply than my wife and I are. It is not time to consider changing this policy, it is time to actually change it. Boycotts, bans on blood drives and protests aren't going to get it changed, education would be a better choice.
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Old 04-30-2008, 06:36 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I'm kinda glad, I wouldn't want any gay blood running through my veins if I got hurt
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Old 04-30-2008, 07:42 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I think that it's important to point out that gays are not the only people who are not allowed to donate blood. I can't because of my travels as well as my tattoos and piercings.

I think all these rules are stupid because I know I'm clean and always have been.

Then again, it's just discriminating against groups of high risk. That's all it has to do with really, statistics. And Ustwo is correct, you don't test positive for HIV right when you get it so there's really no way they could easily test everyone.

I don't like the idea of whole groups of people not being allowed to donate blood because we all know how much it's needed but I can understand why they do it. I don't think it's worth banning a campus blood drive over.
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:06 PM   #23 (permalink)
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If there were another outbreak of diseases caused by transfusions it would destroy a lot of peoples' faith in the blood donation and distribution system and wreak havoc on the medical community. When the rule was made, gay men were at higher risk for HIV than heterosexuals. The rules haven't been changed much lately, and when they are changed, there will be serious research and analysis of risk factors and factors strongly correlated with at-risk groups. Until then, and even when the rules are changed, I'm more comfortable with a system that's much too cautious than one that's at all too cavalier about it, even if it is insensitive and arguably discriminatory.
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:41 PM   #24 (permalink)
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As dumb as this rule seems to be, and probably is, they must be careful and borderline paranoid about the blood that comes in. A lot of people that receive the blood have compromised immune systems and they slightest sickness, even just a cold, can be fatal.
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Old 05-03-2008, 02:38 PM   #25 (permalink)
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this will answer most of your questions.. copied from the Australian Red Cross Blood donations website. its surprising who cant donate! its not just gay men!

http://www.donateblood.com.au/page.a...nt=30#answer63

Frequently Asked Questions
Use our keyword search to see whether you are eligible to give blood.


Please note that these guidelines are subject to regular updates. Please check periodically, or if your circumstances change.

If you are not sure whether you're eligible to give blood, please call us on 13 14 95, and ask to speak with one of our medical officers.

This page was last updated on 29 January 2008. Subject areas updated: acupuncture, age, osteoporosis, piercings, surgery, vaccination, weight.


Acupuncture - I have just had acupuncture. Can I donate?

Yes, as long as only sterile single-use (disposable) equipment was used, but only the plasma portion from your donation can be used for 4 months following the last procedure. After this time you can donate blood for full use.

If sterile single-use (disposable) equipment was not used, or you are unsure if it was used, you will not be able to donate for 12 months after the last acupuncture procedure.

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Age - How does age affect my ability to donate?

Whole blood donors

New donors can commence donating blood up to their 71st birthday.
Existing whole blood donors can continue donating blood up to their 71st birthday.
If you wish to continue donating blood after your 71st birthday, you will need to obtain written approval from your own doctor every year. Your eligibility will then be assessed by an ARCBS Medical Officer.
Apheresis donors

Provided they meet apheresis donor acceptability criteria, existing whole blood donors are eligible to commence donating by apheresis up to their 61st birthday.
Existing whole blood donors aged 61-65 years may be recruited to apheresis subject to Australian Red Cross Blood Service Medical Officer approval.
Existing apheresis donors can continue to donate by apheresis up to their 66th birthday.
If you wish to continue as an apheresis donor after your 66th birthday, you will need to obtain written approval from your own doctor every year. Your eligibility will then be assessed by an ARCBS Medical Officer.
All donors are required to retire from donating when they turn 81.

What is the minimum age for blood donation?

The minimum age to donate is 16 years, however some state/territory legislation requires parental consent for donors aged 16 or 17 years before they are eligible to donate blood. If you are 16 or 17 years of age you must have parental consent to donate blood in: Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia. A copy of the form can be downloaded here.

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Alcohol - I had several alcoholic drinks before going to give blood. Can I donate?

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service does not take blood from anyone under the influence of alcohol because intoxication can affect ability to understand and answer the donor questionnaire and declaration, and to tolerate blood withdrawal.

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Antibiotics - I am taking antibiotics. Can I donate?

If antibiotics are taken for the treatment of an existing infection, the infection must have been fully resolved for 1 week and the antibiotics completed at least 5 days before donating.

In some cases, in the absence of existing infection, a donation may be collected for restricted use as long as the donor is well. If in doubt, ring the Australian Red Cross Blood Service on 13 14 95.

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Antidepressants - I take an antidepressant. Can I donate?

Taking an antidepressant is generally not a cause for deferral as long as you are physically well. However, if you are taking a dosage above the recommended maximum prescribed level you may require assessment. Please call 13 14 95 to speak to Medical Services about your eligibility to donate.

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Blood pressure - I take high blood pressure medicine. Can I donate?

Medicines for the control of blood pressure are acceptable, providing your blood pressure is adequately controlled and stable.


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Blood transfusion - I have had a blood transfusion. Can I donate?

If you have had a blood transfusion, the waiting period before you can give blood is 12 months. If you received only autologous blood (that is you donated prior to a procedure and were transfused with your own blood), then you are able to continue donating with a letter from your doctor verifying the only blood transfused was autologous blood.

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Body piercing - I have just had a part of my body pierced. Can I donate?

Refer to piercings.

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Breast-feeding - I am breast-feeding. Can I donate?

It is not advisable to donate blood while breast-feeding. Following childbirth, the deferral period is at least 9 (nine) months (as for pregnancy) and until your baby is significantly weaned (i.e. getting most of his/her nutrition from solids).


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Cancer - I had cancer. Can I donate?

In most cases, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service accepts people who remain free of cancer five years after the completion of treatment. The five year deferral is to protect the donor's health by ensuring as far as possible that the cancer is gone and will not recur. Five years is the period most often used by cancer doctors to define a presumed cure.

However, people with a history of cancers such as leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma that involve the blood production system directly, are permanently excluded from donating for the benefit of their own health.

Please call 13 14 95 and ask to speak to Medical Services if you have any queries about eligibility.


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Chicken pox - I have chicken pox. Can I donate?

When all your spots are completely clean and dry, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service can use your plasma to provide valuable antibodies to people at risk of infection with chicken pox. Your entire whole blood donation can be used 4 weeks after a complete and full recovery.

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Childbirth - How long after the birth of my baby. Can I donate?

At least 9 months, or longer if still breast-feeding significantly at 9 months. See also breast-feeding.

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Cholesterol - I take medication for cholesterol reduction. Can I donate?

Cholesterol-lowering medication prescribed to prevent coronary artery disease does not affect your eligibility to donate. However, people with existing coronary artery disease must not donate blood for safety reasons.

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Chronic fatigue syndrome - I have/had chronic fatigue syndrome. Can I donate?

You can donate provided you have fully recovered and provide a letter from your doctor certifying you are fit.


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Cold sores - Can I donate if I have a cold sore?

Yes, provided you are not suffering a current episode. Any lesions from a previous episode must be clean and dry.

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Colds- I have a cold. Can I donate?

For your safety and for the safety of the recipient of your blood, you should not donate until you are fully recovered and feeling fit and well.

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Contraceptive pill - I take birth control pills. Can I donate?

Yes. Taking birth control pills (oral contraceptives) has no effect on your ability to donate blood.

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Correctional institutions - Why doesn't the Australian Red Cross Blood Service collect blood from inmates of correctional institutions?

Legislation prohibits the collection of blood donations from anyone who has been imprisoned (in prison or lockup for more than 72 hours) within the last 12 months. The reason for this restriction is that the incidence of hepatitis C, hepatitis B and HIV infection is significantly higher in the prison population compared to the general community.


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Dengue fever - I had dengue fever. Can I donate?

You can donate blood 4 weeks after recovery from dengue fever.


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Dental treatment - I have just been to the dentist. Can I donate?

For treatments such as cleaning, fillings and braces, we can only use the plasma from your donation if you donate within the first 24 hours after the treatment. After this 24 hour period, provided you are otherwise well, we are able to use the other components of your donation. Please call 13 14 95 for limitations that apply for other treatments.


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Diabetes - I am diabetic. Can I donate?

If you have no complications from your diabetes such as eye, blood vessel related or kidney problems and your diabetes is well controlled through diet or oral medication, you will be able to donate.

If you require insulin to control your diabetes, please call Medical Services on 13 14 95 to discuss your eligibility.

If, however, you are free from complications, well controlled, your insulin dosages are stable and you have not used bovine (cattle-derived) insulin in the past, you will generally still be able to donate.


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Diarrhoea - I have diarrhoea. Can I donate?

As diarrhoea can be due to a variety of causes, you have to wait up to 1-4 weeks after recovery. You can speak to Medical Services about your symptoms and eligibility by calling 13 14 95.

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Drug use (recreational) - Can I still donate blood even if I have taken recreational drugs?

This will depend on what drug was taken and how and when it was taken. If you have ever used intravenous (IV) drugs not prescribed by a registered medical practitioner, even once, you will not be eligible to donate. The Australian Red Cross Blood Service values the privacy of donors. All interviews are conducted in private and donor confidentiality is always maintained.

Please call 13 14 95 for further information.


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Ear piercing - I have just had my ears pierced. Can I still donate blood?

Refer to piercings.

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Fibromyalgia - I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Can I donate?

Because the term fibromyalgia describes a variety of conditions you should call 13 14 95 and ask to speak to Medical Services to discuss your condition.


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Glandular fever - I have or had glandular fever (infectious mononucleosis). Can I donate?

Glandular fever is caused by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). You can donate 2 weeks after you have fully recovered from glandular fever. If you had yellow jaundice' or hepatitis associated with glandular fever, you will be deferred for 12 months. When you return, you should notify the interviewer who will then request that additional testing is performed on your donation.

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Heart attack - I had a heart attack but I am doing well now. Can I donate?

To protect your health and safety, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service is unable to accept you as a blood donor.

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Hepatitis - I had hepatitis. Can I donate?

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by infection (such as the viruses hepatitis A, B or C) or an unknown cause and you cannot donate until at least 12 months after full recovery. After that, the first donation is subject to extra testing to rule out chronic (persistent) infection.


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Herpes - I have genital herpes. Can I donate?

Yes, provided you are not currently suffering a current episode. Any lesions from a recent episode must be clean and dry.

You may donate between episodes.

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Hypoglycaemia - I have been told I am hypoglycaemic can I donate?

Hypoglycaemia is a term that indicates low blood sugar. There are many reasons for low blood sugar such as can occur with the treatment of diabetes. If you have symptoms of hypoglycaemia that is not related to diabetes or other serious illness, you can donate provided that you have eaten properly within 2 hours prior to donating. As with all donors, you should also drink plenty of fluids both before and after donation.


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Leukaemia or lymphoma - I had leukaemia or lymphoma. Can I donate?

No, people with a history of leukaemia or lymphoma are permanently excluded from donating for the benefit of their own health.

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Liver function - I have been told by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service in the past that my ALT (liver function test) was too high for me to donate. If my ALT is back to normal, am I OK to donate

Our current guidelines state that as long as your doctor has excluded any serious ongoing liver disease we can accept you back as a blood donor. Please call 13 14 95 and ask to speak to Medical Services if you would like to know more.

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Lyme disease - I have had Lyme disease. Can I donate?

Lyme disease is caused by bites of certain species of ticks. You are eligible to donate 2 weeks after you have recovered fully and are certified fit by your doctor.

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Medications - What prescribed medications will defer someone from donating?

Most prescribed medicines do not defer someone from donating, however, the underlying condition for which the medication has been prescribed may affect eligibility to donate. There are some specific medications that should not be given to pregnant women and new-born babies, for example Roaccutane (for the treatment of acne) and Neotigason (for the treatment of psoriasis). If you are taking any of these medications you will be deferred whilst taking the medication and for a certain time afterwards to ensure it does not remain in your blood. Please ring the Australian Red Cross Blood Service on 13 14 95 if you have any queries about medications.

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Menstruation - I am having my period. Can I donate?

Menstruation does not affect the ability of most women to donate.

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Multiple sclerosis - I have multiple sclerosis (MS). Can I donate?

No. To protect your health and safety, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service is unable to accept you as a blood donor.

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Osteoporosis - I have had a bone density scan confirming I have osteoporosis. Can I donate?

If you have been diagnosed as having osteoporosis you will only be eligible to donate whole blood or plasma by apheresis. Currently there are unresolved concerns surrounding the collection of platelets by apheresis and the effect on bone density of people with osteoporosis. As a precautionary measure (to ensure your health), you will be unable to donate platelets by apheresis. Please call 13 14 95 and ask to speak to Medical Services to discuss this further.

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Payment - Does the Australian Red Cross Blood Service pay donors for donations?

No. The Australian Red Cross Blood Service receives only voluntary donations of blood. This is in keeping with international World Health Organisation and Red Cross policy that encourages the concept of voluntary non-remunerated blood donation to support safe blood supply.

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Piercings - I have just had a piercing. Can I donate?

Ear piercing: If you have just had your ears pierced and this was performed with clean, single use (disposable) equipment, only the plasma portion of your donation can be used for 24 hours following the procedure. You can then donate blood for full use. Otherwise you will need to wait 12 months before donating again. You should inform the interviewer if you are unsure what kind of equipment was used.

All other piercings: If you have had another body part pierced and this was performed with clean, single use (disposable) equipment, only the plasma portion of your donation can be used for 4 months following the procedure. You can then donate blood for full use. If sterile single-use (disposable) equipment was not used, or if you were unsure if it was used you will not be able to donate for 12 months. You should inform the interviewer if you are unsure what kind of equipment was used.

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Polycythaemia (rubra) vera - I have polycythaemia (rubra) vera. Can I donate?

Polycythaemia (rubra) vera is a disease of the bone marrow causing over-production of red blood cells. One of the treatments for this condition is regular removal of blood (venesection) and your doctor may have even referred you to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service for venesection. Due to the underlying condition, your donation will not be used for transfusion.

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Pregnancy - I am pregnant. Can I donate?

Pregnant women are temporarily deferred from donating to avoid any stresses on the mother's and baby's circulation. After childbirth, there is an additional 9 months deferral period from the date of delivery in order to allow adequate time for iron stores to replenish. See also breast-feeding.


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Sexual activity - Is there any kind of sexual activity that will affect my ability to donate blood?

If you have any reason to believe you may have acquired an infection through unprotected sex, you should not donate.

Safe sex practices are vital to the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. However, 'protected sex' is not 100% effective and therefore the Australian Red Cross Blood Service's guidelines relating to sexual activity are based on the prevalence of infection in certain population groups.

The following questions are asked in regard to sexual activity:

Have you ever thought you could be infected with HIV or have AIDS?
In the last 12 months have you engaged in sexual activity with someone who you think might answer yes to any of the questions on the use of drugs, partner with HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HTLV, or treatment with clotting factors?
Since your last donation or in the last 12 months have you had sexual activity with a new partner who currently lives or has previously lived overseas?

Within the past twelve months have you:

Had male to male sex?
Had sexual activity with a male who you think might be bisexual?
Been a male or female sex worker (e.g. received payment for sex in money, gifts or drugs?)
Engaged in sex with a male or female sex worker?

If the answer is 'yes' to any of the above questions, then a 12 month deferral is applied.

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Shingles - I have recently had shingles. Can I donate?

When you are feeling well and the rash is completely clean and dry, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service can use your plasma to provide valuable antibodies to people at risk of chicken pox. Four weeks after a complete recovery, your entire blood donation can be used.

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Splenectomy - I had my spleen removed. Can I donate?

If your spleen was removed due to trauma or physical injury you are eligible to donate 6 months after full recovery. If you received a blood transfusion as well, you will not be eligible to donate for 12 months.

If however, your spleen was removed to treat a chronic illness such as immune thrombocytopaenic purpura (ITP) or lymphoma, you are not eligible to donate blood.

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Surgery - I have surgery planned in the near future. Can I donate?

If you have surgery planned within 84 days of wishing to donate blood, you may be deferred if there is a risk of significant blood loss associated with the surgery. Please call 13 14 95 and ask to speak to Medical Services to discuss your eligibility.

How long after surgery would I have to wait before I donate?

The length of time in which you are allowed to donate after surgery depends on a number of factors. This includes the medical condition for which you had surgery, the type of surgery and recovery period. Please call 13 14 95 and ask to speak to Medical Services to discuss your eligibility.

If you also received a blood transfusion, the waiting period is 12 months.


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Systemic lupus erythematosus - I have systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) can I donate?

You are not eligible to donate if you have SLE because it affects your fitness to tolerate regular blood donation. It is also possible that regular blood donations could affect the severity of chronic inflammatory conditions such as SLE.

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Tattoo - I just got a tattoo. Can I donate?

You cannot donate for 12 months after receiving the tattoo. This also applies to cosmetic tattooing.

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Tests - What tests does the Australian Red Cross Blood Service perform on donated blood?

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service tests each donation for ABO (blood type) and Rhesus groups (i.e. positive or negative) and red cell antibodies. We also test for five transfusion-transmissible infectious diseases (HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, hepatitis B, Human T-cell Lymphocytotropic Virus [HTLV], and syphilis) with seven different tests. Specifically, we test for antibody to hepatitis C, the hepatitis B surface antigen, antibody to both HIV-1 and HIV-2, antibody to HTLV types I and II and antibodies to syphilis.

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service also tests all donations for HIV-1 and hepatitis C RNA using Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT). This process is different from traditional testing because it looks for the actual presence of viruses, in this case HIV and HCV. Most other tests detect the presence of antibodies, which are the body's response to an infection and which take time to develop. NAT provides an opportunity to further improve the safety of the blood supply by reducing the 'window period', which is the time between exposure to a virus to the time current tests are able to detect antibodies to the virus.

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service has also introduced testing for malaria which is performed on donors who have reported residence in, or travel to, an area with malaria.

Does the Australian Red Cross Blood Service notify donors of test results? How long will it take to get notification of abnormal results?

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service notifies a donor of any abnormal results on infectious disease and red cell antibody screening once testing is completed usually within 2 weeks. The donor is advised about their health implications of the positive tests. The information is confidential and released only to the donor and agencies as required by law such as the State Department of Health.

If I am not contacted, does that mean that I'm OK and have no disease?

No. The purpose of tests conducted by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service is as a screen to ensure the safest possible transfusions. The testing is confined only to a specific group of blood borne diseases for which there are suitable high volume tests. Donors should not rely on this testing for their own personal health screening.

I received a letter from the Australian Red Cross Blood Service about a false reactive result. The letter said it was nothing to worry about, but I had a re-test with my doctor to make sure and it was negative. Does this mean I can donate again?

You need to call the Australian Red Cross Blood Service on 13 14 95 and speak to Medical Services for more information regarding any test results before donating.

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Time - How long does it take to donate blood?

We suggest you allow about an hour for your visit to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service. A standard whole blood collection only takes 5-10 minutes, but it also takes time to fill out the questionnaire, be interviewed privately and enjoy a rest and refreshment afterwards. For your safety it is strongly recommended that you rest for 15 minutes after the blood donation to minimise the risk of fainting.

A plasma donation takes a bit longer - about 45 minutes for the collection component.


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Travel - I have travelled outside Australia . Can I still donate blood?

In most cases, yes. However, travel to an area with a risk of insect-borne or animal-borne infections can result in symptomless infection that can be transmitted through blood transfusion. There are 3 areas of concern related to infection risks with overseas travel. These are:

Malaria risk
HIV risk
Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) risk
Malaria risk:

Malaria is the most common example of mosquito-borne infection and is prevalent in many tropical and sub-tropical areas. To prevent transmission of malaria from donors who have travelled to these countries, only the plasma portion of the donation can be used for a period of up to four months after returning. This plasma is sent to be processed into plasma products (which do not transmit the malaria organism).

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service has introduced malaria testing which is now performed if you donate in the period from four months up to twelve months after returning from the malarial area. If this test is negative, the donation can be used for transfusion. If the test is positive you will be advised and counselled.


HIV risk:

Some overseas countries have a high prevalence of HIV infection among the general community. A person who has sex with a person who lives in one of these areas is deferred from donating for a period of 12 months in order to exclude the possibility of HIV transmission.


Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) risk

Although the number of cases of vCJD (the human form of 'mad cow disease' or bovine spongiform encephalopathy) in the United Kingdom is declining, in the absence of a screening test, the full extent of exposure is not known.

Since 2004, there have been a small number of reported cases of patients in the United Kingdom (UK) diagnosed with vCJD who have been infected through blood transfusion.

Based on this information, and in the absence of a reliable screening test for vCJD in blood, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service has implemented guidelines to reduce the risk of vCJD transmission through blood transfusion in Australia. Currently we exclude people from donating who:

Have resided in the UK between 1980 and 1996 for a total (cumulative) time of 6 months or more,
or

Have received blood transfusions in the UK since 1 January 1980.

Unfortunately, because of the extensive time period covered by the deferral and the possibility of unknowing exposure to beef or beef products, it is not possible to exempt vegetarians who have resided in the UK for a cumulative period of six months or more during the risk years.

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is monitoring progress in the development of a reliable blood screening test for vCJD. Should this deferral policy be changed for any reason, please be assured that this information will be disseminated widely.



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Vaccination (hepatitis B) - I've had a hepatitis vaccination. Can I give blood?

You should wait one week after receiving this vaccine to donate. Hepatitis A is a different kind of vaccine and it is okay to give blood immediately

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Vaccination - How long after I've had a vaccination (or flu shot, etc) can I donate?

It depends on the type of vaccine. Those made from 'killed/inactivated/recombinant' material generally do not affect eligibility. These include diphtheria, influenza (flu), hepatitis A, meningococcus, pertussis (whooping cough), pneumococcus, Q fever, tetanus, human papillomavirus (Gardasil) and others.

The exception is hepatitis B. If you have received this vaccine, you should not donate for a week as it may interfere with our testing.

Vaccines made from 'live/attenuated' material restrict our usage of your donation. Although we cannot use the cellular component of your donation, we can still use the plasma fraction for a period of 4 weeks after vaccination. These include BCG (tuberculosis), measles, mumps, rubella (German measles), Sabin (the oral polio vaccine) and varicella (chicken pox).

If you are unsure about your eligibility to donate after vaccination, please contact the Australian Red Cross Blood Service on 13 14 95 and ask to speak to Medical Services.


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Wart virus - I have wart (human papilloma) virus. Can I donate?

Yes, as long as there is no broken skin or localised infection.


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Weight - How much should I weigh to donate blood?

The amount of blood your body contains is proportional to your weight. Where a standard donation represents too high a proportion of your blood volume, you will be unable to donate. If you donate whole blood, you need to weigh at least 45kg, and if you donate plasma or platelets by apheresis, you need to weigh at least 50kg.

If you are 16 or 17 years of age and weigh less than 50kg you are not eligible to donate, because both ARCBS and international experience has shown that young donors who weigh less than 50kg are at increased risk of fainting during or following blood donation. Your eligibility can be reassessed if your weight increases or once you have turned 18.

These criteria are in place to protect your health as a donor. If your weight becomes acceptable for blood donation at any time you can be accepted as a blood donor.

Is there any upper weight limit for blood donors?

Yes, this is related to the maximum safe capacity of our donor chairs which may vary from site to site. To find out specific information about your local collection centre, call 13 14 95.
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Last edited by dlish; 05-03-2008 at 02:41 PM..
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Old 05-03-2008, 03:08 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Holy crap that was an informative post dlish.

There is good reason for all these rules being in place.
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