Something to keep in mind before you donate blood. Yesterday, I was supposed to give blood–what would have been my 16th pint, 2 gallons. I’m a rare blood type, so the American Red Cross (logo right) sends frequent reminders for me to donate. You can donate your whole blood every 56 days.
But thankfully yesterday, I realized while they were going through my medical history beforehand, that the stem cell patches treatment my eye doctor tried on my eye last month might be a mitigating factor for blood donation. Even though that treatment didn’t last and the two patches attempts were only in my eye for a total of one hour.
When I asked the blood donation nurse and her nurse supervisor at the Red Cross about my stem cell eye treatment, they didn’t know and had to phone their doctor on call. After much back and forth with the doctor, the decision came back that I could not donate. The Red Cross treats stem cell treatments like “transplants”. So they are cautious and do not allow you to donate blood for a while.
In fact, I cannot donate blood for one year after my stem cell treatment last April. So, I was disheartened at not being able to donate, but thankful that I realized that the stem cell treatment might be an exclusion–especially since the Red Cross info materials they have you read first, don’t mention it as a possible exclusion.
My eye doctors had also not warned me that ahead of time. Though, they might not have realized it either. So I dropped off a note for them on my way home from the Red Cross offices.
So if you have experimental medical treatments–like stem cell treatments– or medicines, be cautious about making blood donations. Make sure to tell the blood drive nurse of your treatments. It is better to be very cautious and not be able to donate blood for one year, than to risk contaminating the blood supply. And I very much look forward to April 7th, 2017—when I may donate my rare blood again.
And if you have no exclusions now for donating blood, please consider making a blood donation. It is the gift of life! You may donate every 56 days. For more information about blood donations in the U.S. , please visit:
And if you are living outside of the U.S., you may search for the Red Cross organization near you to inquire about blood donations.
Thanks to those of you who already give blood! Hugs!