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Give Blood. It may save a life...YOURS!

Give Blood. It may save a life...YOURS!

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Old Apr 1, 07, 3:30 am
  #136  
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in the UK, they acutally publish the current blood stocks available
http://www.blood.co.uk/pages/stocklevel.html

And I was meant to be giving on Monday, but have a bug, so won't be allowed
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Old Apr 1, 07, 4:31 am
  #137  
 
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Smile

(forgive me in advance for the choppy response, I'm on an odd chemo cycle right now, so I'm awake, but not entirely!)

The Blood is technically available from the central blood bank, but only small quantities are requested in advance, because if it isn't used, it's wasted - so keeping it in the central bank increases availability. So on this particular occasion, there were more people needing A+ than they had, and they wouldn't have known until everyone had bloodwork done. Thankfully, the next day, blood was sent over.

As for scarcity, having worked, for 7 years prior to getting sick for a large cancer center as a Clinical Trial Manager (and subsequently for a National Cancer Institute sponsored Non-Profit), I'm pretty familiar with the way blood banks operate. My mother also ran the board of an ARC chapter for about 10 years, and was the Director of Nursing for a large regional blood bank in the early 90's - blood shortages really do exist. They're often called slightly in advance of the actual problem, but over the past few years, the frequency has grown. The supply level has minumum accepable levels.

Originally Posted by robb View Post
So, your suggestion is that I lie and evade the blood bank's screening system?
Not at all - despite the arcane rules, I think lying on a blood donor form would be awful.

Originally Posted by robb View Post
I do not boycott donating blood, I am prohibited from doing so.
It seemed in your earlier post that you thought an overall boycott might open some ears, I may have misinterpreted it.

Originally Posted by robb View Post
If they kept this discriminatory system in place in the face of real shortages, then I wouldn't know how to describe that kind of evil. Of course, given the opposition to stem cell research that could also save your life, I probably should adjust my thinking to accept that possibility.
Sadly, a lot of these things have more to do with narrow minded politicians, than a real risk. The other factor that I think may affect any chance for changing this is the major popularity in barbacking spurred by the surge in crystal meth use over the past few years - which, while largely ignored by major media, and health officials, still seems to have spread enough to keep an anti-gay buzz going. It's used as an argument against changing the guidelines, and while it's happening among a fractional group (and probably among people who would be unlikely to donate blood anyway) when you have people who are already on a moral judgement fence, they only need a small push to say no. They can see a problem within the community, but not do anything to support it. I also don't understand why they think, if asked, gay men who were at risk of donating contaminated blood would lie, and attempt to donate at a greater rate.

Stem Cell research is a whole other topic, my anger about which could flow for days - not specifically related to myself, mind you.

What is interesting, is that as far as I can tell, being gey isn't a specific exclusion for stem cell, or bone marrow donation.

Originally Posted by robb View Post
Good luck on beating this.
Thanks, I appreciate that!
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Old Apr 1, 07, 6:23 am
  #138  
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jholiiday, most sincere good luck!
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Old Apr 1, 07, 5:53 pm
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Originally Posted by jholiiday View Post
It seemed in your earlier post that you thought an overall boycott might open some ears, I may have misinterpreted it.
To be clear, I did say that I don't support blood drives. I do not give money, time, or publicity to them. FWIW, I do think that an overall boycott would open some ears, but fortunately, it sounds like a little bit of the message is slowly getting through without the need for that kind of call.

From March of last year:
http://www.ebar.com/news/article.php...ws&article=660

The lifetime ban on gay men donating blood may be eased to a 12-month deferral if scientific evidence presented at a March 8 workshop in Bethesda, Maryland is turned into policy guidance by the Food and Drug Administration. All of the major players in the blood products industry now support that position.

...

This time around the Red Cross fell into line and in a joint statement presented by AABB senior medical adviser Steven Kleinman, the three organizations called the lifetime ban for gay men "medically and scientifically unwarranted." It recommended making the deferral criteria the same for all high-risk groups.

They also warned the FDA, "The continued requirement for a deferral standard seen as scientifically marginal and unfair or discriminatory by individuals with identified characteristics may motivate them to actively ignore the prohibition and provide blood collection facilities with less accurate information."

An additional concern is that grassroots opposition to the ban has arisen in high schools and on college campuses across the country over what many see as a discriminatory policy. That has made it more difficult to conduct blood drives among younger volunteers and establish patterns of regular donations that can last a lifetime.
So, it sounds like their support for a senseless, discriminatory policy is hurting them, and that is causing a change in the ARC position.

Now, I nor any gay man I know have any intention of abstaining from sex with men for any 12-month period, so it won't change our ability to donate. The proposed policy will still be discriminatory and without scientific merit, but it would be a step in the right direction if the FDA were to accept it.

Even if this change occurs, a straight man or woman who has multiple anonymous and unsafe sexual encounters per night every day for a year can donate blood without a problem and a gay man who has engaged in no high-risk behavior for years will still be turned away.

All it would take is to replace this question with a question about specific high-risk behavior and defer those people. I can't imagine why anyone would oppose that except for discriminatory reasons.

Last edited by robb; Apr 1, 07 at 6:51 pm
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Old Apr 5, 07, 3:41 am
  #140  
 
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I gave blood again today; Its been 10 visits in 2.5 years. the needle jab is not so bad; still a heap of questions to fill out; the biscuits and the cheese were nice; I should stay longer to eat more. The blood bank in the city has more food but the van that goes around my area is easier to get to and I recognize some of the staff and they recognize me which is good.
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Old Apr 5, 07, 7:13 am
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I also gave blood on Wednesday (04/04/07) - they had to centrifuge my blood to test the iron (?) levels before my donation. No issues!

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Old May 24, 07, 1:23 am
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Originally Posted by robb View Post
The lifetime ban on gay men donating blood may be eased to a 12-month deferral if scientific evidence presented at a March 8 workshop in Bethesda, Maryland is turned into policy guidance by the Food and Drug Administration. All of the major players in the blood products industry now support that position.
FDA Keeps Gay Men Banned From Donating Blood

Gay men remain banned for life from donating blood, the government said Wednesday, leaving in place for now a 1983 prohibition meant to prevent the spread of HIV through transfusions.

The Food and Drug Administration reiterated its long-standing policy on its Web site Wednesday, more than a year after the Red Cross and two other blood groups criticized the policy as "medically and scientifically unwarranted."

"I am disappointed, I must confess," said Dr. Celso Bianco, executive vice president of America's Blood Centers, whose members provide nearly half the nation's blood supply.

Before giving blood, all men are asked if they have had sex, even once, with another man since 1977. Those who say they have are permanently banned from donating. The FDA said those men are at increased risk of infection by HIV that can be transmitted to others by blood transfusion.

In March 2006, the Red Cross, the international blood association AABB and America's Blood Centers proposed replacing the lifetime ban with a one-year deferral following male-to-male sexual contact. New and improved tests, which can detect HIV-positive donors within just 10 to 21 days of infection, make the lifetime ban unnecessary, the blood groups told the FDA.

In a document posted Wednesday, the FDA said it would change its policy if given data that show doing so wouldn't pose a "significant and preventable" risk to blood recipients.
><snip><
FDA Policy on Blood Donations from Men Who Have Sex with Other Men
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Old May 24, 07, 2:28 am
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Ridiculous. The FDA has been simply an extension of the "moral" positions of the current administration - Re: Morning-After pill going non-prescription, etc.

All the while, the population of sexually active persons at GREATEST risk for contracting HIV is heterosexuals! Outreach and education programs in the gay community WORKED. It's about time the Bush administration recognize this and give up the amazingly retarded idea of "abstinence only" sexual education amongst America's youth.
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Old Jul 8, 07, 8:54 am
  #144  
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Blood shortage

I went to donate a pint earlier in the week. How about you?

This was the first time that my A- had a problem leaving my body.
The nurse was able to get a half pint before she gave up. Seems it's a full pint; or, your blood can't be accepted.
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Old Jul 8, 07, 9:41 am
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Yeah - It's a shame they don't have the ability to collect, or at least store half units. Very often, patients are given a split unit (or a whole unit divided into two bags) as they don't always need the whole thing at once, or at all... so I'm not sure why they can't collect that way...

Originally Posted by dhammer53 View Post
This was the first time that my A- had a problem leaving my body.
The nurse was able to get a half pint before she gave up. Seems it's a full pint; or, your blood can't be accepted.
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Old Jul 8, 07, 11:33 am
  #146  
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gave 3 days ago (and have been giving for 30 years). i live 1 1/2 blocks from the blood center and they call me every 8 weeks. i told them if they could only figure out how to run a long tube from my balcony, then they could simply call me and then tell me "time to hook up"
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Old Jul 8, 07, 7:09 pm
  #147  
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Another trip to India has earned me another 12 month disqualification.

I wish they'd come up with a better test for malaria.
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Old Jul 8, 07, 9:03 pm
  #148  
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Originally Posted by Spiff View Post
Another trip to India has earned me another 12 month disqualification.

I wish they'd come up with a better test for malaria.
At least that's better than the situation I'm in--I actually caught it. My understanding at the time was that that was a permanent disqualification. Some time back I learned that it was only for a period of years but I disagree with that--I had a flareup after more than 20 years.
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Old Jul 8, 07, 9:04 pm
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Originally Posted by doc View Post
BTW, men are inclined to store iron, while women are not!
Absolutely positively NOT TRUE and a very dangerous statement to make.

Which leads me to my question for PHLbuddy:


Originally Posted by PHLbuddy View Post
Dear Colleagues,

For those of you who enjoy donating and have no ill effects, please consider contacting the local red cross (or your major cancer centers) to donote platelets. These are truly the life saving products for many cancer patients.

Also, we are in urgent need of donors to the National Bone Marrow Donor Program. By adding a tube which contains a few teaspoonsful of blood to your donation, your HLA typing will be placed in a national registry for cancer patients who require life-save bone marrow transplants. More information can be found here. Folks of minority and multiple ethnic groups are especially encouraged to apply.
When are blood banks going to recognize that hemochromatosis should not be a disqualifying condition for blood donation?

I donate blood every two months at my local hospital, and on the advice of my hemotologist, I simply do not tell them I have hemochromatosis. My donations have never been rejected, and my hemotolgist assures me there is absolutely nothing wrong with my blood. Blood donation helps both me and the patients who receive it, but if I were to mention hemochromatosis at the blood center, I would be permanently banned from donating.

Why, exactly, is that?
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Old Jul 8, 07, 9:15 pm
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Originally Posted by Spiff View Post
Another trip to India has earned me another 12 month disqualification.

I wish they'd come up with a better test for malaria.
I'm doing a Peru trip in September, so I'm about to have my first deferral myself. I'm kind of bummed because the woman who usually takes my blood is pretty hot and a big flirt.
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