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Old 22.06.2012, 11:04
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Blood donors who stayed longer than 6 mo in the UK between 1980-1996 are not accepted

What is needed to be a blood donor?

- good health
- min. age 18
- min weight 50 kg
- No dentistry in the last 72 hrs.
- No major operation in the last 6 months
- no pregnancy or birth in the last 12 months
- No visit to a Malaria area in the last 6 months
- No tattoos, piercings or permanent make-up in the last 4 months
- No stays in the UK longer than 6 months between 1980 - 1996
- No blood transfusion since 1980

My question: WHY?
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Old 22.06.2012, 11:07
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Re: Blood donors who stayed longer than 6 mo in the UK between 1980-1996 are not acce

I think it's to do with the mad cow disease.

I was told I could give blood 10 years after leaving the UK.
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Old 22.06.2012, 11:09
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Re: Blood donors who stayed longer than 6 mo in the UK between 1980-1996 are not acce

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What is needed to be a blood donor?

- good health
- min. age 18
- min weight 50 kg
- No dentistry in the last 72 hrs.
- No major operation in the last 6 months
- no pregnancy or birth in the last 12 months
- No visit to a Malaria area in the last 6 months
- No tattoos, piercings or permanent make-up in the last 4 months
- No stays in the UK longer than 6 months between 1980 - 1996
- No blood transfusion since 1980

My question: WHY?

CJD risk.....
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Old 22.06.2012, 11:18
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Re: Blood donors who stayed longer than 6 mo in the UK between 1980-1996 are not acce

Thanks for the link. I've just found out that I can't donate blood in America.

"The American Red Cross' policy is as follows: During the period January 1, 1980, to December 31, 1996, spending a total time of three months or more in the Channel Islands, England, the Falkland Islands, the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales precludes individuals from donating. Moreover, spending a total time of five years or more after January 1, 1980 (to present), in the above-mentioned countries and/or any country in Europe (except the former USSR), also precludes donation. People with a biologic relative who has been diagnosed with CJD or vCJD are unable to donate. Biologic relative in this setting means mother, father, sibling, grandparent, aunt, uncle or children. (For complete listing, please go to Redcross.org)"
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Old 22.06.2012, 12:03
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Re: Blood donors who stayed longer than 6 mo in the UK between 1980-1996 are not acce

It's been the case for a long time, actually. I don't recall exactly when, but we had a discussion on it here a year or two ago.

When I lived in the US, long before my first trip abroad, I laughed at it, because I was pretty sure that the UK wasn't some backwater third-world country* where the risk factors were significantly higher, but I'm sure there's some kind of logic behind it.

*Nowadays I'm not so sure.
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Old 22.06.2012, 12:13
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Re: Blood donors who stayed longer than 6 mo in the UK between 1980-1996 are not acce

The CJD thing has been around a long time - more than 10 years - it was an issue when my daughter was born and she's nearly 13.

My husband is a regular blood donor and the blood donor rules are very similar (if not exactly the same) for Australia and Switzerland.

2004: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3515358.stm

http://www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/Infecti...ntCJDAndBlood/

The lag time between getting a blood transfusion and developing CJD is very long - 6.5 years in one case! - so that's why it's still an ongoing issue.
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Old 22.06.2012, 12:21
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Re: Blood donors who stayed longer than 6 mo in the UK between 1980-1996 are not acce

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Moreover, spending a total time of five years or more after January 1, 1980 (to present), in the above-mentioned countries and/or any country in Europe (except the former USSR), also precludes donation.
Thanks for that. I used to donate to a "blood bank" in the States quite often when I was younger. Now, four years here and counting.
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Old 22.06.2012, 12:51
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Re: Blood donors who stayed longer than 6 mo in the UK between 1980-1996 are not acce

I love how they expressly state England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland or any country in Europe. Since when were the above not in Europe?

...o and why five years? What happens in this 5th year exactly?
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Old 22.06.2012, 13:30
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Re: Blood donors who stayed longer than 6 mo in the UK between 1980-1996 are not acce

There are few discussions already about this:
Just tried to give blood, but they don't want it.
Giving Blood - information for all

What you can do however is register to be a stem cell donor:
http://www.sbsc.ch/en/register-now-online/
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Old 22.06.2012, 13:39
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Re: Blood donors who stayed longer than 6 mo in the UK between 1980-1996 are not acce

In the US I was refused to be a blood donor just because I came from Europe. Not the UK, just Europe. This was 2003.
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Old 22.06.2012, 15:13
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Re: Blood donors who stayed longer than 6 mo in the UK between 1980-1996 are not acce

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I think it's to do with the mad cow disease.

I was told I could give blood 10 years after leaving the UK.

Have a source for this? is this true and do all the blood banks know this?

I only spent 3 years of my childhood (1985 - 1988) in Northern england, and havent been back since.

But no one has so far told me I can now donate. I have O negative blood so they always need it...
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Old 22.06.2012, 15:20
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Re: Blood donors who stayed longer than 6 mo in the UK between 1980-1996 are not acce

I'm interested in the "OK after ten years" rule.

I was able to donate blood in France a couple of times 13-14 years or so ago, then they introduced this rule about and that was it. Would like to do my bit, but can't.

(Reminds me, used to have organ donor cards in French, English and German - must do that again).
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Old 22.06.2012, 15:24
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Re: Blood donors who stayed longer than 6 mo in the UK between 1980-1996 are not acce

Again, never ever heard of that 10 year rule - and would love to see an official link to that.
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Old 22.06.2012, 15:36
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Re: Blood donors who stayed longer than 6 mo in the UK between 1980-1996 are not acce

I tried to donate blood in New Zealand while on holidays in 2003 and was told they couldn't accept it. I seem to remember I was told that after 10 years it would be ok, but wouldn't swear to it. I googled it but can't back it up, sorry.

I did find this related article, though. It seems that the rule will be reviewed.

http://worldradio.ch/wrs/news/switze...an.shtml?25540
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Old 22.06.2012, 16:43
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Re: Blood donors who stayed longer than 6 mo in the UK between 1980-1996 are not acce

UPDATE: I've just talked to a very patient man at the Red Cross and he confirmed the following:

If you lived in the UK or Northern Ireland between 1980 and 1996 for 6 months or more, you are not allowed to give blood.

Things might change in 5 or 10 years, as they do more research, but so far, the blood is not accepted.

Here is the link http://www.blutspende.ch/de/news-und-service/ (de, fr, it)


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Old 22.06.2012, 16:58
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Re: Blood donors who stayed longer than 6 mo in the UK between 1980-1996 are not acce

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I'm interested in the "OK after ten years" rule.

I was able to donate blood in France a couple of times 13-14 years or so ago, then they introduced this rule about and that was it. Would like to do my bit, but can't.

(Reminds me, used to have organ donor cards in French, English and German - must do that again).
I've just spoken to a nice lady at Swisstransplant and you CAN donate your organs even after living in the UK and Northern Ireland between 1980 and 1996.

I asked how come you cannot give blood, but your bloody organs are accepted, and she replied that they wash away the blood before putting your bits on somebody else.

More info: http://www.swisstransplant.org/l4/or...ordinances.php


And you can create your own donor card online. Page in English
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Old 22.06.2012, 18:10
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Re: Blood donors who stayed longer than 6 mo in the UK between 1980-1996 are not acce

That's great news - I carry a UK Donor card and a Swiss one, but thought that my living in the UK meant I would be able to donate - should the situation arise.

All my family have lived into their 90s and 100s - and I am 60+ now - so by that time I suppose my organs will be pretty kn**kered and useless...

And I have one of the rarest blood-groups and can only donate to my own (very small group) so that limits possibilities a bit.

Last edited by Odile; 22.06.2012 at 18:38.
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Old 22.06.2012, 18:16
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Re: Blood donors who stayed longer than 6 mo in the UK between 1980-1996 are not acce

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That's great news - I carry a UK Donor card and a Swiss one, but thought that my living in the UK meant I would be able to donate - should the situation arise.
Should the situation arise?

Have you found the secret to eternal life?
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Old 17.08.2016, 22:54
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Re: Blood donors who stayed longer than 6 mo in the UK between 1980-1996 are not acce

Looks like a new campaign is up:

Migros without an O here leads to this (no English, but in short they're looking for donors). The exclusion for those who have been in the UK for more than 6 months between 1980 and 1996, as well as the one for homosexual men, still seems to apply.
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Old 18.08.2016, 00:48
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Re: Blood donors who stayed longer than 6 mo in the UK between 1980-1996 are not acce

I gave blood in Gland, Vaud, in 1999 - 2000. I had lived in the UK in the early 80's. For five years.

There was no questions asked at the time. But, I was not a drug user or a homosexual man. Or maybe at the time they didn't think about it.

Since then i have had an AIDS test, and am clean. And that was a request from a boyfriend, who wanted us both to do it just to be sure.

I guess now i can't give blood. All very odd.

If i went down to donate blood tomorrow, would they ask me all those questions? I doubt it. Not that i will.

I think with all the testing etc. thats available nowadays, they can sort the good blood from the bad. And blood is needed.

Last edited by Patsycat; 18.08.2016 at 01:09.
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