I can't donate blood

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General_Norris
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I can't donate blood

Postby General_Norris » Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:56 pm UTC

One of the requisites to donate blood (Spain) seems to be "Doesn't mantain sexual relationships with several people".

So, is there really a reason for this?

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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby felltir » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:02 pm UTC

AIDS.
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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby Elvish Pillager » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:20 pm UTC

...and they don't test the blood for HIV anyway after it's donated?
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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby felltir » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:21 pm UTC

Elvish Pillager wrote:...and they don't test the blood for HIV anyway after it's donated?


They do. But here in the UK, doing things that put you in the "high risk" category, such as gay sex, or injecting drugs, or self-harming, get you banned for life.
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General_Norris
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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby General_Norris » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:28 pm UTC

Elvish Pillager wrote:...and they don't test the blood for HIV anyway after it's donated?


But that's another clause not the same.

EDIT: Better wording
Last edited by General_Norris on Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:13 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby SlyReaper » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:57 pm UTC

Is it possible that an HIV test will fail to detect HIV even if it is there?

I myself am banned from donating because I'm diabetic. It's not that my blood can infect people with diabetes, but rather they think that I'll keel over and die if I'm deprived of a pint of the red stuff. Complete tosh, but rules is rules I suppose.

Why hasn't someone invented synthetic blood yet?
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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:04 pm UTC

It takes six months for HIV to show up in a test, so... yes?
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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby Jplus » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:25 pm UTC

And then still, even after six months there is a risk that they might miss your HIV antigens in a test. They just want to minimize the risk as much as possible.

Don't feel offended. You have shown your goodwill and nobody blames you for having a sexual relationship with multiple people. It's just that blood transfusions are something people like to be extremely cautious with...

I have some trouble with donating blood too, by the way. In my case, it's not that I'm not allowed to give, but I'm rather light-bodied (just heavy enough to be allowed to donate, the limit of which is 50 kg in the Netherlands). So unless I ate and drank enough, had some easy weeks with enough rest, I listen to some fast music and they topple over my chair as a means of prevention (to let my feet stand higher than my head), I'll faint before I can give even just 450 ml of blood.

The only way for me to donate without fainting is by doing it rather infrequently. I don't feel sorry for it, it simply happens that my body is a relatively limited source of blood.
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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby Spambot5546 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:29 pm UTC

Plus there is a non-zero cost to testing, and when the blood has a high enough risk of being infected they just decline all of it rather than take it knowing they'd have to throw so much of it out anyway.
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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby PhoenixEnigma » Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:09 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:Why hasn't someone invented synthetic blood yet?

They're working on it, but blood is complicated stuff. IIRC, there's also a fair bit of research going into being able to change blood types, so that any donator's blood can be changed to O-, which would be incredibly useful but also happens to be a rather touchy process.
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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby General_Norris » Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:12 pm UTC

Jplus wrote:Don't feel offended. You have shown your goodwill and nobody blames you for having a sexual relationship with multiple people. It's just that blood transfusions are something people like to be extremely cautious with...


0h no, I actually told them myself and the Doctor even asked if I wanted something to eat anyways.

Spambot5546 wrote:Plus there is a non-zero cost to testing, and when the blood has a high enough risk of being infected they just decline all of it rather than take it knowing they'd have to throw so much of it out anyway.


This is reasonable.

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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby SummerGlauFan » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:28 pm UTC

I myself have had trouble donating blood before. For example, I once made the mistake of going to a blood drive during finals week, and lo and behold my blood pressure was almost too high to accept.

I also once had a vein collapse about halfway through the procedure, and though I am quite sure I would not have even felt the effects they wouldn't let me continue because they would have had to start over completely.
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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby WaterToFire » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:11 am UTC

Even thinking about blood can trigger a drop in my blood pressure to the point that I have to lie on the floor or pass out. I am also of the light bodied type, only a bit over 50kg, so I do not plan on giving blood.

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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby Dason » Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:00 am UTC

I love giving blood. It's a good feeling! Sadly I can't give blood for at least one more year. I traveled to Nicaragua... 2 years ago? And there's a 3 year deferral before you can give blood after traveling to areas where malaria is prevalent.

Can't wait to do it again though.
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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby poxic » Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:08 am UTC

I'm on the "permanently deferred" list, which in Canada happens to include people with kidney disease. Not that my sort of KD can be passed on with a blood transfusion (I think), but whatever. I admit I'm enough of a wimp that this doesn't bother me much. It actually took the kidney thing, with its yearly blood checks and whatnot, to get me able to put up with needles without winging a lot. :|
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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby Amarantha » Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:51 am UTC

Giving blood makes me anaemic. And my iron levels are never great to begin with. So eventually they told me not to come back. And then they phoned me once a month or so to see when I'd donate again... User database fail.

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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby Toeofdoom » Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:51 pm UTC

Heh, giving blood seemed to lower my iron levels, along with the fact that I don't eat much red meat. Once I found out about it I changed that slightly and it seems to have gone back a bit.

Only trouble I've had is when they would test my blood pressure, which was fine, but then noticed my heart rate was somewhere between 100 and 120. My resting heart rate is somewhere between 60 and 70, but it happened a few times. When it did, they would check again in a few minutes and it had dropped below 100 (which is their limit) and decided it was fine.
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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby Ashlah » Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:07 pm UTC

I'm permanently deferred because my blood had two false positive hepatitis tests. I'm still sad about this because I loved donating.

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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby SummerGlauFan » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:43 pm UTC

Dason wrote:I love giving blood. It's a good feeling! Sadly I can't give blood for at least one more year. I traveled to Nicaragua... 2 years ago? And there's a 3 year deferral before you can give blood after traveling to areas where malaria is prevalent.

Can't wait to do it again though.


I actually feel no different, physically speaking, after I donate. Which is kinda funny, because the nurses tend to treat blood donors as if they were made of eggshells, so you get to see this big strapping guy walking down the hall with a nurse on each arm.

Of course, I feel good for helping out. However, I have heard that semi-regular blood donation is good for you, physically speaking, assuming you don't have low iron. I have no idea if that is actually true or not, but meh.
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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby a_fuzzyduck » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:02 pm UTC

Apparently I'm not allowed to, since I had four units put in me following some rather nasty haemorroid complications a few years ago. There don't seem to be any guidelines saying I can't, but I always get turned down when I go... I've been in perfect physical health since then, so yeah, I don't follow
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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby Robstickle » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:02 pm UTC

Felltir wrote:
Elvish Pillager wrote:...and they don't test the blood for HIV anyway after it's donated?


They do. But here in the UK, doing things that put you in the "high risk" category, such as gay sex, or injecting drugs, or self-harming, get you banned for life.


I've always wondered, do lesbians get the same treatment? Because I've heard that lesbian sex is the safest kind of sex. I mean someone on the internet said so so it must be true.

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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby Spambot5546 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:09 pm UTC

The way it reads on the ARC pamphlets is "If you are a male who has had sexual contact with another male since 197-something..."

So it's not about being gay per se so much as it is about being a dude who has banged a dude. Which is why it's okay for lesbians.
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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby thicknavyrain » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:45 pm UTC

Would it make much of a difference for vegetarians?
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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby felltir » Sat May 01, 2010 7:52 am UTC

thicknavyrain wrote:Would it make much of a difference for vegetarians?


Nah, vegetarians are fine if you have all the right chemicals in your blood.

Spambot5546 wrote:The way it reads on the ARC pamphlets is "If you are a male who has had sexual contact with another male since 197-something..."

So it's not about being gay per se so much as it is about being a dude who has banged a dude. Which is why it's okay for lesbians.


Here, if you're a woman who's had sex with a man who's had sex with a man, you're off for a year.
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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby Jorpho » Sat May 01, 2010 3:59 pm UTC

One of the campus groups made a real big stink over the blood drive not accepting donations from homosexuals. It was quite a spectacle.

One of the things I've never quite understood is, why would they reject people who have been in prison recently?

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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby crowey » Sat May 01, 2010 4:23 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:One of the campus groups made a real big stink over the blood drive not accepting donations from homosexuals. It was quite a spectacle.

One of the things I've never quite understood is, why would they reject people who have been in prison recently?

I heard that prisoners/ex prisoners are a high risk group for various hepatitis strains. Tattoos, fights, rough and occasionally unsanitary conditions, drugs, prison rape... all make it much easier to contract hepatits, and probably HIV too..

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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby Chicostick » Sat May 01, 2010 4:40 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:One of the campus groups made a real big stink over the blood drive not accepting donations from homosexuals. It was quite a spectacle.

One of the things I've never quite understood is, why would they reject people who have been in prison recently?



Bah I hate those sorts of campus groups that needlessly protest things. Seriously, just sit down and think for a few seconds and you'll understand why they don't accept homosexual's blood.

The whole AIDS epidemic really added a negative stigma to homosexual sex. Although it has waned a bit with safer sex practices and education, statistically gay men have a higher risk for carrying or transmitting AIDS. The amount of extra work they have to do to determine whether the blood is healthy or not would just be greater than the amount of blood they would get, and even then there's still a risk of missing something. When you are dealing with blood, you have to be extra careful. What if they accidentally spread a disease through blood drives? Can you imagine the backlash they would get, and how many people would suddenly be afraid to get that life saving transfusion?

It's not a prejudiced "we don't want no gay peoples blood!" restriction, it's a "you are in a higher risk category, and that's a risk we can't take" restriction. The same goes for people in prisons. Prison tattoos, gay relationships within the prison, hell maybe even getting shanked with a dirty knife. It's just not worth the risk to take their blood. If they are ready and willing, then good for them. But it's just not worth the risk.


Personally I've never given blood. I've volunteered at blood drives and even helped organize and run one in my town, but I've never actually given blood. I KNOW that I'll pass out if I ever do. I am decently large enough to but I just have an aversion to having my blood put into tubes. If it was just an open wound and i was bleeding it'd be fine, but something about putting it in a tube gives me the willies.

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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby Carnildo » Sat May 01, 2010 11:29 pm UTC

Chicostick wrote:Although it has waned a bit with safer sex practices and education, statistically gay men have a higher risk for carrying or transmitting AIDS.

True but not useful. At least in the US, male/male sexual intercourse is responsible for about 40% of new infections, where male/female accounts for 35%.

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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby SummerGlauFan » Sun May 02, 2010 12:39 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:One of the campus groups made a real big stink over the blood drive not accepting donations from homosexuals. It was quite a spectacle.

One of the things I've never quite understood is, why would they reject people who have been in prison recently?


When you're dealing with blood, you have to be careful. If you miss something, you can easily infect an innocent patient for life, or cause any number of adverse reactions.
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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby crowey » Sun May 02, 2010 2:12 am UTC

Carnildo wrote:
Chicostick wrote:Although it has waned a bit with safer sex practices and education, statistically gay men have a higher risk for carrying or transmitting AIDS.

True but not useful. At least in the US, male/male sexual intercourse is responsible for about 40% of new infections, where male/female accounts for 35%.

Percentages are a bit misleading in this case, since there are far fewer people having male/male sex than male/female,
so 40% of new cases are in 5% of the population and 35% are in 90% of the population. If you look at it like that, it's way more likely for a gay man to contract HIV than a heterosexual man.

*proportions of homosexual people ballparked.

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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby Jorpho » Sun May 02, 2010 3:18 pm UTC

I am reminded of an entertaining little short story David Brin wrote:
http://www.davidbrin.com/givingplague.htm

Spoiler:
A disease develops that is spread pretty much exclusively through blood donations, such that people who contract the disease feel the urge to give blood more often. People with the infection justify this inclination by being more altruistic in general.

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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby Whelan » Sun May 02, 2010 5:18 pm UTC

I've never had sex with a man, but I am right on the weight boundary, also I need to find a local blood drive and someone to go with who isn't ascared of needles. I'm temped to arrive and ask if I can put the needle in myself, tell them I'm a med student in need of practice.
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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby crowey » Sun May 02, 2010 7:58 pm UTC

Whelan wrote: I'm temped to arrive and ask if I can put the needle in myself, tell them I'm a med student in need of practice.

I doubt they'd let you, even if you are a med student. Getting the angle on the needle into your own elbow is quite tricky, it's one of the reasons IV drug addicts get nasty scars

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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby Fume Troll » Tue May 04, 2010 6:36 am UTC

I donated plasma for a few years. I gave whole blood once and they phoned me up to tell me they'd found something in the blood tests :shock:

Turns out it was anti-zoster antibody, which they wanted more of. I think I had more of the antibodies because I had a really bad time with chicken pox. To get the plasma they put a line into each arm. One takes blood, which is then processed in a centrifuge. The plasma is separated off and the red cells are pumped back into your other arm via the other line. I was always a bit nervous as the centrifuge is all automated and would process blood in batches. Once it had pumped the red cells out it would get air bubbles in the line, and I'd be paranoid that it was going to pump them into me!

Because they give you the red cells back, they can take blood more often. They were taking a liter of plasma from me every few weeks, and I decided it was a bit much, so I stopped. Not least because some of the nurses were awful at getting lines in and I didn't really want my veins damaged. But I managed to get bronze, silver and gold pins for donating various amounts, much to the annoyance of my Dad who had been donating for years and years and only had a silver pin.

I've not been back for ages, I really should go.
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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby SummerGlauFan » Wed May 05, 2010 5:23 am UTC

Fume Troll wrote:I donated plasma for a few years. I gave whole blood once and they phoned me up to tell me they'd found something in the blood tests :shock:

Turns out it was anti-zoster antibody, which they wanted more of. I think I had more of the antibodies because I had a really bad time with chicken pox. To get the plasma they put a line into each arm. One takes blood, which is then processed in a centrifuge. The plasma is separated off and the red cells are pumped back into your other arm via the other line. I was always a bit nervous as the centrifuge is all automated and would process blood in batches. Once it had pumped the red cells out it would get air bubbles in the line, and I'd be paranoid that it was going to pump them into me!

Because they give you the red cells back, they can take blood more often. They were taking a liter of plasma from me every few weeks, and I decided it was a bit much, so I stopped. Not least because some of the nurses were awful at getting lines in and I didn't really want my arteries damaged. But I managed to get bronze, silver and gold pins for donating various amounts, much to the annoyance of my Dad who had been donating for years and years and only had a silver pin.

I've not been back for ages, I really should go.


A, plasma donating! Around here, at least, you can get paid for that. I've seen all sorts of reactions to it, though, ranging from absolutely fine to looking white as a sheet and then passing out.

That's what I get for having a bunch of broke college friends, I guess! ;)
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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby Nath » Wed May 05, 2010 5:38 am UTC

I spent much of my life in a crowded tropical country with several nasty diseases running wild, but that's not why I can't give blood. No, it's the couple of years I spent in England as a kid.

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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby SummerGlauFan » Wed May 05, 2010 5:44 am UTC

Nath wrote:I spent much of my life in a crowded tropical country with several nasty diseases running wild, but that's not why I can't give blood. No, it's the couple of years I spent in England as a kid.



Bloody England.

Pun most definitely intended.

Really, though, what was the reason?
glasnt wrote:"As she raised her rifle against the creature, her hair fluttered beneath the red florescent lighting of the locked down building.

I knew from that moment that she was something special"


Outbreak, a tale of love and zombies.

In stores now.

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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby Fume Troll » Wed May 05, 2010 5:45 am UTC

BSE I guess.

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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby Nath » Wed May 05, 2010 5:57 am UTC

Fume Troll wrote:BSE I guess.

Yep.

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Re: I can't donate blood

Postby Fume Troll » Wed May 05, 2010 7:36 am UTC

No symptoms, I hope. :)


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