They would not let me give blood!

  1. I am so confused and upset. I went to give blood for the first time yesterday. I wanted to do something good, and I knew that my O+ blood type would be needed a lot. So the nurse starts with the questions. Everything went well..... until she asks me if I have lived in Europe from 1980 until now for 6 months or more. I said:"Yes, I have moved to TX from Germany 5 years ago." And she goes on to tell me that I can NEVER give blood in the US, because of the Mad Cow Disease! I was like:"What?! NEVER?" So I went home all disappointed. I could not do nothing good afterall. Does anyone else know about this?
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   weetziebat
    Wow! No, I've never heard that. What a bummer! Sorry you were turned down.
  4. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Yes, I have moved to TX from Germany 5 years ago." And she goes on to tell me that I can NEVER give blood in the US, because of the Mad Cow Disease! I was like:"What?! NEVER?" So I went home all disappointed. I could not do nothing good afterall. Does anyone else know about this?

    I'd get this reason checked out. Never hear of this before.
  5. by   Jessy_RN
    I am a frequent blood donor and help with the drives at school, and yes they do ask this question. I have never seen anyone not been allowed to donate blood though, maybe no one that I have seen has lived in Europe in that time frame?

    I would definitely give the Red Cross a call and ask about the policy.
  6. by   Jessy_RN
    Offtopic: Marie, I see you got your premium status back. Glad you did!
  7. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Thank you, i don't know wha was up with that. I'd just changed quotes, and didn't have time to copy what's there now before it had disappeared.
  8. by   Nurse Ratched
    Yes, they started asking some questions differently in the last 3-4 times I gave blood to include things like, were you in the armed services or a military dependent during a certain set of years - also trying to figure out if you lived in Europe for over a certain period of time. Since I believe it's thought that mad cow can take many years to show, they have to. Some people are being deferred for this reason. I'm very sorry you weren't able to give blood. Thank you for trying, tho . I hope more people do.
  9. by   General E. Speaking, RN
    I am in the Commit For Life program. It does seem like the list of questions gets longer and more detailed but they are there to use a screening tool for safety reasons. My supervisor is from the UK and cannot donate because of Mad Cow Disease- and I have not heard her "moo" once. Go figure.
  10. by   NurseLatteDNP
    Thank you for all your replies. I have called and the nurse said that they don't have a way to test for mad cow disease yet, but when they do, I can come and donate. I guess all I can do is wait.
    But that got me thinking... How many people have answered NO to the question and donated anyway. The Blood Bank does not have a way to prove they are lying. It is kind of scary.
  11. by   traumaRUs
    My entire family can't donate blood for this reason. We lived in Spain from 82 to 85 and youngest son was born there. So...we don't donate ever.
  12. by   prmenrs
    Sometimes, it really is the thought that counts. You could have passed the screening process, but then been too anemic. Don't feel bed. You got off the couch and went in there and tried. In my book, you get credit for the good deed! :flowersfo Thumbs up!
  13. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from prmenrs
    Sometimes, it really is the thought that counts. You could have passed the screening process, but then been too anemic. Don't feel bed. You got off the couch and went in there and tried. In my book, you get credit for the good deed! :flowersfo Thumbs up!
    I agree. Good for you for wanting to donate.
    I'm a Red Cross volunteer. The prions are in the brain and spinal cord not in the blood so there is no test that can determin whether a live person is infected. A Red Cross RN told me that theoretically the absence of Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease prions in spinal fluid could indicate the person is not infected.
    I'm not certain why if blood does not carry any infectious agent the person cannot donate.

    i can attest to many good people being quite upset when turned down. If you visited for just a couple weeks you could have become infected yet can still donate.

    http://www.redcross.org/services/bio...pply/CJDv.html
  14. by   NurseLatteDNP
    Thank you very much for the nice words.
    And.... Merry Christmas to everyone :Santa5: :Snowman1: :Reindeer:

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