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Thread: A Reason for Giving Blood

  1. #1 A Reason for Giving Blood 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Tomorrow I go for a medical procedure called a phlebotomy. I just hope they read that right at the nurse's station. Anyways I have to have a bloodletting. I recall seeing an illustration in a book about medieval times which depicted the local blacksmith hacking some guy's arm open for medical purposes. I don't remember what the problem was but it seems this practice was common back then. Why do I need this you might ask. Well according to my doctor, my body retains iron, too much in the blood. Removing some of my vital fluids apparently is a precautionary measure that will lessen the percentages of iron once my body replaces the missing life juice, something like that. They tell me that in the future too much iron could shut down major organs if I'm not careful.

    I've never given blood as a donor and I'm sure many have. Perhaps once I get this over with I'll donate on a regular basis. They tell me I'll need a phlebotomy 2-3 times a year. For now I'll just stay away from strong magnets. I'm pretty sure this is an inherited trait since my mom has the same thing, except she's in her seventies, never gave blood, and hasn't had any organs shut down as yet. I'm wondering if the doctor is either over-reacting, afraid of a lawsuit, actually caring, or finding an excuse to bill government health insurance. Anyone had this procedure done to them?


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    Maybe you should get an aquarium of pet leeches?


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  4. #3  
    AI's Have More Fun Bad Robot's Avatar
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    No I haven't, but can think of several good reasons for giving blood. If you are ever in a situation where you need blood transfusions, it can be very expensive. If you give/bank blood, you can stockpile blood credits so if you ever need major surgery, the transfusions won't cost you anything. If you are lucky enough never to need the blood, you can feel good that your blood was available to save other lives. In your case giving blood is actually good for you. By the way do you have a rare blood type? Maybe it's worth money, but then I guess you don't need the extra cash.
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  5. #4  
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    Hemochromatosis is real, fairly common, and can be very serious. The degree of severity does vary quite a bit. It sounds like your case was diagnosed early and is unlikely to trouble you greatly so long as you follow your doctor's instructions.

    I knew a guy in college with a severe case, he just attended college classes to live on the loan money, as he expected to die within a year or two. Several of his vital organs were irreparably damaged before he was correctly diagnosed.

    It is a bit ironic that the bloodletting modern medicine has decried as medievalist nonsense is in fact the most effective treatment of this disease.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danhanegan View Post
    It is a bit ironic that the bloodletting modern medicine has decried as medievalist nonsense is in fact the most effective treatment of this disease.
    Ain't that the truth.

    Been trying to stay clear of foods with iron but that would mean giving up most things I like. I just recently was told that oranges contain lots of iron, apple juice for me these days.

    Shlunka said....
    By the way do you have a rare blood type? Maybe it's worth money, but then I guess you don't need the extra cash.
    No I don't know my blood type. I don't really like having medical problems. All this come about because of the C scare I had couple years back. I've never had my blood tested so many times, all since then. Who would buy blood, who would sell it?
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  7. #6  
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    I donate blood on a regular basis and have done for pretty much my whole adult life. My iron levels are on the high side of normal, and the blood donor staff say this is desirable, since they need plenty of iron in the blood they use. I have also read that blood donors live longer than non blood donors. So if you need a reason, there it is.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    I began donating blood 40 years ago, and I recommend it to everyone who can.

    RadioLab has a really interesting program about blood and, starting at 45:15, the blood donor industry, which is more complicated and bizarre (ie, capitalistic) than you would ever suspect. It gets really bizarre at 53:15, and especially after 55:30 (and what till you get to 59:00, or even 59:30). Up to the end, 1:06:33.
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  9. #8  
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    I'm not allowed to donate blood because gays are dirty.
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  10. #9  
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    There is some data that suggests that giving blood can improve cardiovascular risk by either reducing iron stores or by reducing blood viscosity. At least one other study did not confirm the finding.

    One study suggested that lowering your iron stores may reduce the risk of cancer. Regular blood donation can accomplish this.

    Thus, in addition to the altruistic benefits, there may be some health benefits to donating blood.

    I have not been donating, but I may start.

    Thanks for the reminder.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Anyone had this procedure done to them?
    It is the first time I have even heard of it. I have donated blood in the past, but that was just for altruistic reasons.
    I hope it works for you but I know nothing.
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  12. #11  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    Daecon, in America it's about inclusion in what the American Red Cross considers risk groups. For what it's worth, the ARC would apparently reject James Bond (along with much of the UK basically because they are British). I partly qualify for that risk group (I was once a secret agent — jk), but not completely, so I can donate. Go figure. Many risk groups, including yours and the UK group, are based on statistics.
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  13. #12  
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    The two conditions that I know of where blood donation / extraction is life- extending, probably life saving, are hemochromatosis and polycythemia. There may be other rarer conditions I don't know about. I have one friend with polycythemia and several of my husband's cousins have hemachromatosis. He had to be tested when this was discovered 20ish years ago. Fortunately he was clear of that.

    People who can donate blood should donate, regularly if possible. Quite apart from any other considerations, the blood is tested for blood bank purposes and they'll let you know if there's anything you should know about. At least that's what happens here, I presume the Red Cross and similar organisations use similar procedures elsewhere.
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  14. #13  
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    Last edited by dan hunter; February 18th, 2014 at 06:14 AM.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    No I haven't, but can think of several good reasons for giving blood. If you are ever in a situation where you need blood transfusions, it can be very expensive. If you give/bank blood, you can stockpile blood credits so if you ever need major surgery, the transfusions won't cost you anything. If you are lucky enough never to need the blood, you can feel good that your blood was available to save other lives. In your case giving blood is actually good for you. By the way do you have a rare blood type? Maybe it's worth money, but then I guess you don't need the extra cash.
    Of course, in the evil socialist countries like the UK there is no charge for required blood and responsible citizens donate as a matter of course.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    Daecon, in America it's about inclusion in what the American Red Cross considers risk groups. For what it's worth, the ARC would apparently reject James Bond (along with much of the UK basically because they are British). I partly qualify for that risk group (I was once a secret agent — jk), but not completely, so I can donate. Go figure. Many risk groups, including yours and the UK group, are based on statistics.
    I looked up the risk criteria...

    "If, in the past 12 months, you have had sex, even once, with anyone who has taken money or drugs in exchange for sex since 1977."
    It is fortunate that you can't get AIDS via your partner's ex-partner's ex-partner.

    "If, you are a female who, in the past 12 months, has had sex with a male who has had sex, even once, with another male since 1977."
    If it was longer than 12 months then the woman would know if she had contracted homosexuality?
    Or is it AIDS related? Do women recover from AIDS after 12 months?

    "If, during 1980-1996 you have spent a total time that adds up to 6 months or more in the United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man, Channel Islands), you are not eligible to donate blood."
    Again, it is fortunate that America doesn't suffer from BSE...


    (Personally, I F**KING HATE NEEDLES!!!
    But I still give blood.
    )
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    "If, during 1980-1996 you have spent a total time that adds up to 6 months or more in the United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man, Channel Islands), you are not eligible to donate blood."
    OMG!
    I didn't know you could catch Being English from a blood transfusion.
    (OTOH I would have thought that it took longer than 6 months to get it, even from being exposed to it by living in the UK).
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    OMG!
    I didn't know you could catch Being English from a blood transfusion.
    We can't take any chances. It's just not worth it.
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  19. #18  
    ▼▼ dn ʎɐʍ sıɥʇ ▼▼ RedPanda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    I didn't know you could catch Being English from a blood transfusion.
    American's can't risk learning how to spell 'colour' correctly - however small a risk it may be.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    I didn't know you could catch Being English from a blood transfusion.
    American's can't risk learning how to spell 'colour' correctly - however small a risk it may be.
    Damn, I'd already written out an almost identical response when I noticed this. And I've never even had a transfusion.
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  21. #20  
    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    I didn't know you could catch Being English from a blood transfusion.
    American's can't risk learning how to spell 'colour' correctly - however small a risk it may be.
    Damn, I'd already written out an almost identical response when I noticed this. And I've never even had a transfusion.
    the theory is rubbish anyway, silly sods. Never donated blood, but I recently had a transfusion.
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    I didn't know you could catch Being English from a blood transfusion.
    American's can't risk learning how to spell 'colour' correctly - however small a risk it may be.
    But they'd be able to talk to the natives if they visit Lie-sester-shire.
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  23. #22  
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    ...and pronouce the "h" in Herbs...


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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    But they'd be able to talk to the natives if they visit Lie-sester-shire.
    I am doubtful.
    I've never met an American that can say "shire" properly.
    They seem unable to pronounce "sheer".
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    ...and pronouce the "h" in Herbs...
    Oh god - I had forgotten about that. It's bloody annoying!
    Which is quite hypocritical since I almost have a London accent.
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    A cockney panda!? Hehehhe

    I've lost most of my accent but when I was younger I used to sound like this: Can Americans understand the British Geordie Accent - YouTube
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  27. #26  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    The study appears in this month's issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry and was conducted by Dr. Theil and her co-authors Xiaofeng S. Liu, postdoctoral fellow at Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Marvin J. Miller, Ph.D. and Leslie D. Patterson, a predoctoral student, both from the University of Notre Dame. The scientists knew that the ferritin protein cage had pores that could open and close. It was also known that chelators (a method to detoxify blood) removed iron faster when the pores were open.


    "We wanted to prove a hypothesis that a small protein or peptide could bind to ferritin and could be used to regulate ferritin pores," said Dr. Theil. "Our hypothesis was correct. We proved that when a binding peptide of seven amino acids, a heptapeptide, is coupled with Desferal the rate of removal of iron from ferritin is eight times faster." Desferal is currently used to detoxify the blood of patients with iron overload and is a common therapeutic remedy.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...2P-p2NIj2voHKA
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  28. #27  
    AI's Have More Fun Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    The study appears in this month's issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry and was conducted by Dr. Theil and her co-authors Xiaofeng S. Liu, postdoctoral fellow at Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Marvin J. Miller, Ph.D. and Leslie D. Patterson, a predoctoral student, both from the University of Notre Dame. The scientists knew that the ferritin protein cage had pores that could open and close. It was also known that chelators (a method to detoxify blood) removed iron faster when the pores were open.


    "We wanted to prove a hypothesis that a small protein or peptide could bind to ferritin and could be used to regulate ferritin pores," said Dr. Theil. "Our hypothesis was correct. We proved that when a binding peptide of seven amino acids, a heptapeptide, is coupled with Desferal the rate of removal of iron from ferritin is eight times faster." Desferal is currently used to detoxify the blood of patients with iron overload and is a common therapeutic remedy.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...2P-p2NIj2voHKA
    Well one less reason donate blood now.
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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    I've lost most of my accent but when I was younger I used to sound like this:
    Can Americans understand the British Geordie Accent - YouTube
    C'mon, they're not really speaking English. That's just a Monty Python skit, right? Ha ha (jk)
    Seriously, I just looked it up, female Geordies talk differently than male Geordies? How's that???



    The American Red Cross also has a question about women having two or more pregnancies, but it can't only be that because I know mothers of multiple children who donate.
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post

    C'mon, they're not really speaking English. That's just a Monty Python skit, right? Ha ha (jk)
    Seriously, I just looked it up, female Geordies talk differently than male Geordies? How's that???
    Not a joke I would make on Tyneside It's true men and women do have subtle differences in pronounciation (but it is rare for anyone south of Sunderland to notice, it's all incomprehensible to southerners...1)

    1. True story when I first went away to College no-one could understand me. Whenever I spoke some wag2 would shout "subtitles!", one guy actually said "Excuse me dear boy, what language are you speaking, is it Welsh?". I realised they were all a bit dim and that I had to speak slowly and clearly as you would to a retarded child, this led to me losing most of my accent (though apparently it comes back when I talk to my parents on the phone).



    2. Public school3 wanker

    3. In England this is a posh "private" school like Eton or Harrow.
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    Apparently I'm starting to pick up slight hints of the Kiwi accent after 8 years of living here.

    I guess I must mostly still sound like a Kent/Sussex lad, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    A cockney panda!? Hehehhe

    I've lost most of my accent but when I was younger I used to sound like this: Can Americans understand the British Geordie Accent - YouTube
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    As a true blue New Zealander, I am the only one here without an accent.
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    As Adelady pointed out, phlebotomoy is also a common treatment for polycythemia vera, which is what came to my mind first. Glad to hear that's not why you're going through this
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    I'm not allowed to donate blood because gays are dirty.
    Do the same rules apply in New Zealand? I thought we here in the States were the only homophobes.

    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    I didn't know you could catch Being English from a blood transfusion.
    American's can't risk learning how to spell 'colour' correctly - however small a risk it may be.
    Damn, I'd already written out an almost identical response when I noticed this. And I've never even had a transfusion.
    the theory is rubbish anyway, silly sods. Never donated blood, but I recently had a transfusion.
    Really? May I ask why and how it went?
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    I always meant to ask you if your last name was Al.
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    For money?

    Here, all you get is a drink and a biscuit. (Cookie for Americans.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post

    Do the same rules apply in New Zealand? I thought we here in the States were the only homophobes.
    I donate blood regularly in NZ, for the right royal payment, as Adelady said, of a drink of juice and a choccy bikkie. The form we fill out asks if we have had sex with a male, etc. The reason is pure pragmatism, not homophobia. Anal sex passes on the HIV infection. Males who have sex with males are far more likely to have the virus, and this risk in a blood donor is too great.

    Since I am pure hetero, and have a good hemoglobin count, they welcome me with open arms. I also have big veins, which the exsanguinators love. I have given blood about 75 times.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    A cockney panda!? Hehehhe

    I've lost most of my accent but when I was younger I used to sound like this: Can Americans understand the British Geordie Accent - YouTube
    Poor kid, ends up with an NFL team logo jacket that no one in America would wear.
    I think he said he'd rather have a Steelers jacket. That's about the only thing he said that I understood, if that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    For money?

    Here, all you get is a drink and a biscuit. (Cookie for Americans.)
    I'm not aware of any places that you can give blood for money around here (though there are some places that give money for plasma). If I recall correctly, the American Red Cross stopped paying for blood because of the large amount of IV drug users who would give blood to get money for more drugs. As we know, IV drug users are at an increased risk for many blood-borne diseases. I think there was actually a significant reduction in transfusion-acquired blood borne illnesses from ending this practice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post

    Do the same rules apply in New Zealand? I thought we here in the States were the only homophobes.
    I donate blood regularly in NZ, for the right royal payment, as Adelady said, of a drink of juice and a choccy bikkie. The form we fill out asks if we have had sex with a male, etc. The reason is pure pragmatism, not homophobia. Anal sex passes on the HIV infection. Males who have sex with males are far more likely to have the virus, and this risk in a blood donor is too great.

    Since I am pure hetero, and have a good hemoglobin count, they welcome me with open arms. I also have big veins, which the exsanguinators love. I have given blood about 75 times.
    No need to explain it to me, I've had this discussion before here. I've just gotten the impression that it was mostly limited to the U.S.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post

    Do the same rules apply in New Zealand? I thought we here in the States were the only homophobes.
    I donate blood regularly in NZ, for the right royal payment, as Adelady said, of a drink of juice and a choccy bikkie. The form we fill out asks if we have had sex with a male, etc. The reason is pure pragmatism, not homophobia. Anal sex passes on the HIV infection. Males who have sex with males are far more likely to have the virus, and this risk in a blood donor is too great.

    Since I am pure hetero, and have a good hemoglobin count, they welcome me with open arms. I also have big veins, which the exsanguinators love. I have given blood about 75 times.
    My blood is the universal doner blood O- , good for anybody that might need it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post

    Do the same rules apply in New Zealand? I thought we here in the States were the only homophobes.
    I donate blood regularly in NZ, for the right royal payment, as Adelady said, of a drink of juice and a choccy bikkie. The form we fill out asks if we have had sex with a male, etc. The reason is pure pragmatism, not homophobia. Anal sex passes on the HIV infection. Males who have sex with males are far more likely to have the virus, and this risk in a blood donor is too great.

    Since I am pure hetero, and have a good hemoglobin count, they welcome me with open arms. I also have big veins, which the exsanguinators love. I have given blood about 75 times.
    My blood is the universal doner blood O- , good for anybody that might need it.
    Mine is O neg as well. Our plasma isn't the best, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    The form we fill out asks if we have had sex with a male, etc. The reason is pure pragmatism, not homophobia. Anal sex passes on the HIV infection. Males who have sex with males are far more likely to have the virus, and this risk in a blood donor is too great.
    Personally, I hope they are testing the blood and not simply relying on a questionnaire.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    The form we fill out asks if we have had sex with a male, etc. The reason is pure pragmatism, not homophobia. Anal sex passes on the HIV infection. Males who have sex with males are far more likely to have the virus, and this risk in a blood donor is too great.
    Personally, I hope they are testing the blood and not simply relying on a questionnaire.
    Of course we test them. I hope you don't think our tests are 100% sensitive and specific through the first days of infection, because they're not. Although it is unlikely that someone who donates blood will be in an early, undetectable stage of infection, it is still possible. That is one of the main purposes of the questionnaire, to further reduce the chances of something like that happening. Admittedly, cases of transfusion-acquired HIV are very rare.

    Unfortunately, there are some things that we don't/can't test for because there are no reasonably priced, effective, easily performed assays for them. For example, we don't test for Plasmodium. Thus, it is very important that people answer the questionnaire honestly. As another example, we have no test for Babesia. Additionally, there are no questions that can effectively screen for it, either. Not surprisingly, it is the most common organism implicated in deaths among the transfused.
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    Well, things didn't turn out like I thought. They sent me into a room, told me to put the gown on and wait for the doctor. This was the first time I had contact with this hematologist. After a while he came in and started to refer to my latest blood test, one week ago. Told me straight out that he didn't think I had too much iron. What I have in his opinion is a high level of ferritin. I didn't know this but my first tests showed I had a level exceeding 1100, about 4-5 times the norm. Last week's test said that I had 700. I had started changing my diet and watching what I eat for the last couple of months and he thinks that was reflected in the numbers. One thing he did tell me was to stay away from processed foods, something I had trouble doing up until a couple months ago.

    Now he's sending me for more blood work and an ultrasound of my liver to check for any fat tissue around the liver or if disease is present. To tell you the truth I feel fine, in fact I haven't felt this good in a while. I really think it was my diet causing the elevated levels. Ferritin is a protein for storing iron as far as I know. If you were to look at me you would think I hardly have any fat at all. I exercise more than most people and he said to continue doing so. Anyway he was encouraged by my last test and of course I get to go back in May. I'm not a drinker so I'm hoping my liver is pretty good. Also hoping to knock that number down some more by the end of May.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    I'm not allowed to donate blood because gays are dirty.
    Same thing for me Daecon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    I'm not allowed to donate blood because gays are dirty.
    Come sit with me. I can't donate either as I lived in the UK during the mad cow disease epidemic. I'm also vegetarian.


    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    ...and pronouce the "h" in Herbs...


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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    ...and pronouce the "h" in Herbs...


    Languages - Eddie Izzard - YouTube
    Not in all parts of the UK - if you go up north there is a distinct lack of aitches.
    That's Yorkshire for you, if you go further north to where I'm from the "H"s come back but the accent is so strong and the speech so fast you might not notice...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
    Not in all parts of the UK - if you go up north there is a distinct lack of aitches.
    I do ope you're not casting haspersions.
    But the lack of "h" in herbs is, in such cases, dialect (or laziness): if you ask a Northerner to slow down and speak "correctly" the h will reappear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    Of course we test them. I hope you don't think our tests are 100% sensitive and specific through the first days of infection, because they're not.
    I understand that tests can be ineffective during the first days of infection, but a lot of the requirements involve a lifetime ban - a ban also 'inherited' by a "high risk" person's partner.

    "If you are a male who has had sex, even once, with another male since 1977."
    Is 37 years long enough for the tests to be effective?

    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    Unfortunately, there are some things that we don't/can't test for because there are no reasonably priced, effective, easily performed assays for them. For example, we don't test for Plasmodium.
    Is 30 years long enough for the symptoms of malaria to appear?
    Because the authors of the criteria think not.


    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    Thus, it is very important that people answer the questionnaire honestly.
    If you are relying on honesty, then why not simply ask: "Do you have malaria?".

    The problem I have is the blanket ban on anyone that might have possibly perhaps got AIDS or Malaria (or whatever) 30+ years ago (but hasn't noticed they they are infected).
    There also seems to be an assumption that someone that had gay sex once 30 years ago is less of a risk than someone that has had unprotected sex with 100's of partners.
    The criteria are flawed at best or downright stupid at worst.



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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    =Busy Bee]
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    ...and pronouce the "h" in Herbs...


    Languages - Eddie Izzard - YouTube
    Not in all parts of the UK - if you go up north there is a distinct lack of aitches.
    That's Yorkshire for you, if you go further north to where I'm from the "H"s come back but the accent is so strong and the speech so fast you might not notice...
    I think moreso Lancashire but let's not start another war of the roses. :P

    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
    Not in all parts of the UK - if you go up north there is a distinct lack of aitches.
    I do ope you're not casting haspersions.
    But the lack of "h" in herbs is, in such cases, dialect (or laziness): if you ask a Northerner to slow down and speak "correctly" the h will reappear.
    *In strong Yorkshire accent* You mean speak like a posh bugger?

    (Disclaimer: I lived in Yorkshire for 6.5 years and my husband at the time was from Lancashire thus making me an 'onorary northerner.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
    (Disclaimer: I lived in Yorkshire for 6.5 years and my husband at the time was from Lancashire thus making me an 'onorary northerner.)
    Pffft, Yorkshire and Lancashire are the midlands to a real northener
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    Of course we test them. I hope you don't think our tests are 100% sensitive and specific through the first days of infection, because they're not.
    I understand that tests can be ineffective during the first days of infection, but a lot of the requirements involve a lifetime ban - a ban also 'inherited' by a "high risk" person's partner.

    "If you are a male who has had sex, even once, with another male since 1977."
    Is 37 years long enough for the tests to be effective?

    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    Unfortunately, there are some things that we don't/can't test for because there are no reasonably priced, effective, easily performed assays for them. For example, we don't test for Plasmodium.
    Is 30 years long enough for the symptoms of malaria to appear?
    Because the authors of the criteria think not.


    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    Thus, it is very important that people answer the questionnaire honestly.
    If you are relying on honesty, then why not simply ask: "Do you have malaria?".

    The problem I have is the blanket ban on anyone that might have possibly perhaps got AIDS or Malaria (or whatever) 30+ years ago (but hasn't noticed they they are infected).
    There also seems to be an assumption that someone that had gay sex once 30 years ago is less of a risk than someone that has had unprotected sex with 100's of partners.
    The criteria are flawed at best or downright stupid at worst.
    It's almost as if females are incapable of having anal sex.

    Do women not have bottoms?
    Last edited by Daecon; February 19th, 2014 at 04:57 AM. Reason: Quotification.
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  57. #56  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    It's almost as if females are incapable of having anal sex.

    Do women not have bottoms?

    ...and the prize for todays WTF non-sequitur goes to .... DAECON (applause)

    EDIT: I now see it was a response to post #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    Do women not have bottoms?
    I can assure you that women definitely do have bottoms. Very nice ones too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    Of course we test them. I hope you don't think our tests are 100% sensitive and specific through the first days of infection, because they're not.
    I understand that tests can be ineffective during the first days of infection, but a lot of the requirements involve a lifetime ban - a ban also 'inherited' by a "high risk" person's partner.

    "If you are a male who has had sex, even once, with another male since 1977."
    Is 37 years long enough for the tests to be effective?

    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    Unfortunately, there are some things that we don't/can't test for because there are no reasonably priced, effective, easily performed assays for them. For example, we don't test for Plasmodium.
    Is 30 years long enough for the symptoms of malaria to appear?
    Because the authors of the criteria think not.


    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    Thus, it is very important that people answer the questionnaire honestly.
    If you are relying on honesty, then why not simply ask: "Do you have malaria?".

    The problem I have is the blanket ban on anyone that might have possibly perhaps got AIDS or Malaria (or whatever) 30+ years ago (but hasn't noticed they they are infected).
    There also seems to be an assumption that someone that had gay sex once 30 years ago is less of a risk than someone that has had unprotected sex with 100's of partners.
    The criteria are flawed at best or downright stupid at worst.



    Traveling to a malaria endemic area is actually not a lifetime ban. It is one year, which I think is perfectly reasonable and enough time to develop symptoms. I do not agree with some of the lifetime bans, including the one on homosexuals. Some of the rules are certainly nonsensical. Unfortunately, I can't change any of them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    The problem I have is the blanket ban on anyone that might have possibly perhaps got AIDS or Malaria or is English
    FIFY.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    The problem I have is the blanket ban on anyone that might have possibly perhaps got AIDS or Malaria or is English
    FIFY.
    Visiting the UK for 6 months does not make you English!

    Or can we now claim Piers Morgan is American and refuse him re-entry to the UK...?
    It's probably worth a try.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    Traveling to a malaria endemic area is actually not a lifetime ban. It is one year, which I think is perfectly reasonable and enough time to develop symptoms.
    True.

    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    I do not agree with some of the lifetime bans, including the one on homosexuals. Some of the rules are certainly nonsensical. Unfortunately, I can't change any of them.
    Fair enough.

    I don't think we should ever rely on questionnaires when dealing with serious diseases, though.
    If the threat of malaria is minimal, then I guess that just asking people is fine.

    But when the guidelines say things like "If you have ever used a needle, even once, to take any illegal drugs or steroids, you are not eligible to donate blood." then that could imply that there is no testing.
    And if there is testing, then don't bother asking the question.
    The question is not even likely to be answered honestly; who wants their records to show that they injected illegal drugs?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    The problem I have is the blanket ban on anyone that might have possibly perhaps got AIDS or Malaria or is English
    FIFY.
    It's nothing personal, it's just that you all have mad cow disease. Apparently, you are not alone. Europeans are also on the ban list. Eligibility Criteria by Alphabetical Listing | American Red Cross
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    I have travelled to malaria zones on many occasions, and honestly declared that, and still been exsanguinated. It seems to be an alert rather than a ban.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    But when the guidelines say things like "If you have ever used a needle, even once, to take any illegal drugs or steroids, you are not eligible to donate blood." then that could imply that there is no testing.
    And if there is testing, then don't bother asking the question.
    They ask and test for redundancy. Tests can be wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    They ask and test for redundancy. Tests can be wrong.
    Which would be fine - if it wasn't for the ignorant, biased and stupid questions.

    For example: they think that a man that 'experimented' once with homosexuality 37 years ago is a higher risk than a man who has had unprotected sex with 1000's of women.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    a man who has had unprotected sex with 1000's of women.
    Did someone call my name?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    a man who has had unprotected sex with 1000's of women.
    Did someone call my name?
    Are you a rock star or professional basketball player?
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    Like any good Soldier I used to try to give blood every time the Red Cross rolled on base. But after a while it came down to being disqualified most times because of someplace I'd been. Most of the senior soldiers would in so many terms be told...thanks but no thanks--but you can have a cookie if you want.
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    Maybe giving blood won't be much of an issue for long.

    Artificial Blood Substitute - Synthetic Blood Research - Popular Mechanics
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
    (Disclaimer: I lived in Yorkshire for 6.5 years and my husband at the time was from Lancashire thus making me an 'onorary northerner.)
    Pffft, Yorkshire and Lancashire are the midlands to a real northener
    I dare you to go to any pub in Yorkshire or Lancashire and make this announcement. Just give me a heads-up so I can watch the carnage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    But when the guidelines say things like "If you have ever used a needle, even once, to take any illegal drugs or steroids, you are not eligible to donate blood." then that could imply that there is no testing.
    And if there is testing, then don't bother asking the question.
    The question is not even likely to be answered honestly; who wants their records to show that they injected illegal drugs?
    Questionnaire developers provide some questions so that they can read between the lines.

    So, the question of "Have you ever using a needle to administer an illegal drug?" might indicate your propensity to have done it recently, but won't admit it because it's illegal, whereas admitting to having done it, say, ten years ago, the limitation of action would have run out, and you still would be disqualified for suspected recent activity of this nature.

    This also reminds me of a life insurance policy that I bought long ago. One of the questions was, Have you ever gone skydiving? Reading between the lines of a "yes" answer would indicate that the applicant had a tendency to try dangerous activities or dares. Eliminating such potentially death-defying people from the pool of policyholders would allow the insurance company to lower their premiums, make them more competitive, and/or provide them with sufficient profits, etc.

    Asking the questions in the first place is also a matter of CYA. Let's say they do all the testing, but something unknown/undetectable, like the next kind of needle-transmissible sneak-attack disease like Hep C comes along, and then bunches of patients become infected. The ARC should have known better to suspect as much, and it's so easy to ask questions, so why didn't they? Major lawsuits.

    Or put yourself at the receiving end. The blood being injected into your arm comes from some of the most down-and-out, skankiest, toothless prostitutes in the world, but not to worry, it's all been tested. Or would you rather take untested blood from, say, a nun?
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    Or put yourself at the receiving end. The blood being injected into your arm comes from some of the most down-and-out, skankiest, toothless prostitutes in the world, but not to worry, it's all been tested. Or would you rather take untested blood from, say, a nun?
    Personally, I would probably prefer the tested blood.

    So, which would you choose: the tested blood from someone that had gay sex 37 years ago or the untested blood of a nun? (BBC News - Nun who gave birth in Italy 'unaware of pregnancy')
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  74. #73  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    a man who has had unprotected sex with 1000's of women.
    Did someone call my name?
    Are you a rock star or professional basketball player?
    Neither. I'm a bare - faced liar. Metaphorically, of course.
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  75. #74  
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    Or put yourself at the receiving end. The blood being injected into your arm comes from some of the most down-and-out, skankiest, toothless prostitutes in the world, but not to worry, it's all been tested. Or would you rather take untested blood from, say, a nun?
    Personally, I would probably prefer the tested blood.

    So, which would you choose: the tested blood from someone that had gay sex 37 years ago or the untested blood of a nun? (BBC News - Nun who gave birth in Italy 'unaware of pregnancy')
    When you are in a position to need blood, anything that saves your life at that moment is acceptable. Then if there is something wrong with the blood you get to sue. Nobody will ever ask you to make a choice because of where or who the blood came from.

    So fear of getting sued makes the difference, before you need blood.
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  76. #75  
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    which would you choose: the tested blood from someone that had gay sex 37 years ago or the untested blood of a nun? (BBC News - Nun who gave birth in Italy 'unaware of pregnancy')
    Thank you. This is a very good example of objective fact obtained from an omniscient source compared with a subjective (self-reported) fact from a donor's questionnaire.

    This relates to "SOAP notes", a method of documentation in a patient's medical records. "SOAP" stands for: Subjective, Objective, Assessment, and Plan. Subjective refers to information provided by the patient. Objective refers to information obtained from examination by medical staff.

    Personally, if one gay sex act from 37 years ago was the only fact that would cause a rejection, I would choose that blood. I don't doubt that there are some formerly skanky prostitute nuns out there. However, I don't know how an unknown pregnancy affects a person's blood, but this is also a good example of "reading between the lines" — was it a one-time fling with an equally pristine virgin, or was she sneaking out at night and selling herself down a dark alleyway?

    People have lied on the blood donation questionnaires, and so questionnaires aren't a brick wall that prevents questionable blood from entering the blood supply. The Red Cross has gone through several iterations of questionnaire methodology. The Red Cross has told me that they have always had concerns about false answers on questionnaires. First, they asked the questions, one-on-one. Then they had the donor answering the questions on a computer. They went back to asking the questions one-on-one. Then they flipped back to the donor using a computer, where it has remained.

    At one point, they added a question that basically asked, "Is there any reason you don't feel like donating today?" (emphasis mine). As it stands, they have always given donors a paper with a phone number to call if, after leaving, for any reason, the donor feels that their blood shouldn't be used. I have used it myself legitimately. For example, after one donation, I woke the next morning with a sore throat, so I called the number and basically black-listed that donation.
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  77. #76  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    However, I don't know how an unknown pregnancy affects a person's blood.
    Just wanted to point out that donated female plasma (not blood) is discarded in the U.S. for this very reason. Pregnant women can produce anti-HLA antibodies when they're pregnant (even if they never knew they were pregnant), and these antibodies are associated with cases of transfusion related acute lung injury -- the leading cause of death in blood transfusions.
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  78. #77  
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    I have not donated blood since I became a health care worker but I think I'm now disqualified because of exposure to so many blood born illnesses, even though I don't actually have any.
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    I think donating blood has its benefits, including making yourself feel good that you're saving lives.

    I wish I could donate blood. I don't think I can. I have thalassemia and I doubt they'd want blood with a disorder when they could get other blood. I'm also not a universal donor (neither am I a universal recipient).
    I also have some other stupid issues with my body.

    When a nurse took my blood for a blood test, she said I had a vein that'd be great for donating blood. Damn it!
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  80. #79  
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    Quote Originally Posted by EugeneT View Post
    I think donating blood has its benefits, including making yourself feel good that you're saving lives.

    I wish I could donate blood. I don't think I can. I have thalassemia and I doubt they'd want blood with a disorder when they could get other blood. I'm also not a universal donor (neither am I a universal recipient).
    I also have some other stupid issues with my body.

    When a nurse took my blood for a blood test, she said I had a vein that'd be great for donating blood. Damn it!
    They take all blood types, not just the universal donors. They'll usually try to match a patient up exactly with their blood type. So if someone is A+, they will try to give them A+ blood if it's available even though there are a few other blood types that would be compatible (A-,O+,O-). The universal donors are good for emergencies when there isn't enough time to figure out what the patient's blood type is.

    Usually, people with thalassemias are the ones that need blood transfusions, so it would probably be best that you keep your blood
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  81. #80  
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    Quote Originally Posted by EugeneT View Post
    I think donating blood has its benefits, including making yourself feel good that you're saving lives.

    I wish I could donate blood. I don't think I can. I have thalassemia and I doubt they'd want blood with a disorder when they could get other blood. I'm also not a universal donor (neither am I a universal recipient).
    I also have some other stupid issues with my body.

    When a nurse took my blood for a blood test, she said I had a vein that'd be great for donating blood. Damn it!


    There are other ways to donate besides whole blood donations. The Red Cross wants plasma donations too. Some of the regular donated blood supply is processed into things like albumen, immunogloben and platelet products for use in surgery and other therapies.

    Canadian Blood Services - Société canadienne du sang - Plasma donation process
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  82. #81  
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    I had to google 'thalassaemia'.
    I think it would be a mistake to even think of giving donations, when your body has betrayed you that way. Don't do it.
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