PBCers are always asking the criteria for donating blood. The information below will answer most of your questions.
The American Red Cross and blood banks across the country want to make sure the blood is as safe as possible for those who need transfusions, so they screen carefully. Patients with liver diseases may not be able to donate blood. One of the tests performed on the blood is Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT) – a liver enzyme that, when increased, may indicate liver disease.
Patients with most autoimmune diseases cannot donate blood because of so many unknown factors of these diseases. There is no evidence for danger in transfusing blood, but there is no evidence or experience to support its safety. In many cases deferral from donating blood is to protect the donor from complications. Even though the person can’t donate blood, most can donate or sell their plasma for research purposes. Please keep in mind, medical guidelines change frequently. What can be done today, may not be tomorrow..
Blood Donation Guidelines
Some donor eligibility rules are specified by the Food and Drug Administration for every blood bank in the country. Other rules are determined by the particular blood bank and may differ between programs. Donor eligibility rules are intended to protect the health and safety of the donor as well as the patient who will receive the transfusion. List may not be complete.
Age: 17 years of age and in good health. 16 years of age with parental consent form. There is no upper age limit.
Weight: Minimum of 110 lb.
ID: Social Security Number and Picture ID are required at time of donation (per Federal Law).
Medications: Must have completed antibiotics 3 days prior to giving blood. OK to donate if taking aspirin (except platelet donors), antihistamines, birth control pills, blood pressure medicine and vitamins.
Eating: We suggest you eat a meal before your blood donation.
Drinking: Drink lots of water or juice several hours before or after your donation.
Strenuous Activity or Job: Should be avoided for 12 – 24 hours after donating blood. Individuals with a hazardous or strenuous job should donate at the end of their work shift.
Diabetes: OK to donate if controlled by diet or oral medication. If Insulin dependent, must be stable.
Asthma: Acceptable if asymptomatic and on normal medications (including bronchodilators) for management. Symptomatic asthma, or requiring oral steroids for management is not acceptable.
Epilepsy: More than one seizure in the past 6 months, or multiple seizures are not acceptable to donate blood. If controlled with medication, and there has been no more than one seizure in the past 6 months, is acceptable.
Cancer: Cured local skin cancer (simple basal cell or squamous cell), as well as Cervical cancer in situ is acceptable. Most other forms of cancer are acceptable 5 years after being treated and released by your primary physician. Mitral Valve Prolapse: Ok to donate if asymptomatic, no arrhythmias, and no limitations of activities.
Cancer: Cured health and feeling well on the day of donation.
Dental Work:OK to donate 72 hours after minor surgical procedure, 24 hours after a cleaning.
Allergy Shots: OK to donate.
Other Shots: No shots for measles or mumps in the last 2 weeks; rubella in the last 4 weeks.
Small Pox: OK to donate 21 days after vaccination or contact with someone who has, and no complications.
Needle Sticks: None in the past year.
Pregnancy: OK to donate 6 weeks after routine delivery, 6-months after a C-section. It is ok to donate while breastfeeding.
Acupuncture: Procedures performed with sterile disposable needles in a doctor’s office are acceptable, with written verification from acupuncturist.
Blood Donation: You may donate whole blood every 56 days.
Tattoo / Skin Branding / Permanent Make-up applied: None in the past year.
Ear and Body Piercing: Ear and non-mucous membrane body piercing that was done with a piercing gun or using disposable/single use equipment is acceptable. 12 month deferral if any other method was used. Skin piercing of any mucous membrane is a 12 month deferral.
Blood Transfusions: None in the past year except your own (autologous).
Malaria: Those who have lived in an endemic area for one year or more must have left the endemic area at least 3 years to qualify as a blood donor. Travel to a malaria zone is a 12 month deferral from date of departure from the endemic area.
Medications: Acutane, Proscar and Propecia – OK to donate 30 days after last dosage. Avodart – OK to donate 6 months after last dose.
Stroke: OK to donate 1 year after and must be stable.
HIV infection with or without symptoms of AIDS or Hepatitis. Men who have had sex with another man (even once) since 1977.
Any lymphoma, leukemia, melanoma.
Medication: Tegison, heart-regulating medications, anti-coagulants (i.e. Coumadin), long-term steroid therapy, Bovine (beef) insulin.
Travel to or residing in the UK for 3 months or more between 1980 – 1996.
Travel to or residing in Europe for 5 years or more between 1980 and the present.
Autoimmune Disorders: (such as) Crohn’s disease, Grave’s disease, Lupus, MS, Pernicious anemia, Rheumatoid arthritis, Sarcoidosis, Sjogren’s syndrome, Ulcerative colitis, Scleroderma, Hashimoto thyroditis can’t donate blood, but most can donate or sell their plasma for research purposes.