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Donating Blood

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by Timostags, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. Timostags

    Timostags · Well-Known Member

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    Several years ago I went to donate blood for the first time. I filled in the form etc went to the seat ready for the nurse to take the blood. As she was getting the needle she asked if I took any prescription drugs. So I replied just insulin for my diabetes. She was shocked and quickly explained that there was no way someone dependent on insulin injections could donate blood as "they would need to pump it straight back in".

    I went away and checked the NHS guidelines and it does say I cannot donate blood (although I am sure the form I filled in made no mention of it).

    I know other countries such as the US are quite happy for insulin dependent diabetics to donate blood and have seen many comments from T1 diabetics saying they regularly donate.

    So my question is does anyone in the UK with T1 donate blood and just not mention you have diabetes?

    I personally think the UK's policy on blood donation is seriously out of date (I am also a gay man, but that's a whole other discussion). I have also read that there is a small but real chance of "giving" someone T1 from stem cell donation but there is no risk from blood donation.
     
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  2. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    I read recently that the rules for gay men had changed so just checked it out.
    It would seem that if you have engaged in what would be considered fairly vanilla sexual contact within the last 3 months you shouldn't donate. I reckon that must knock out 98% of the gay population so why make the change?
     
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  3. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    The rules are stupid.
     
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  4. kitedoc

    kitedoc Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    In Oz I was told that having been prescribed and injected animal insulins in the past that I could have antibodies to these insulins.
    That possibility ruled me out of donating blood.
    My guess about USA policy is that most diabetics are likely to be on human insulin which they probably consider is less likely to cause problems (but rarely insulin antibodies do form). Given the amount of gun and other violence over there the need for blood for transfusion maybe driving the less stringent policy.
    I will stick my head out and also guess that with very aggressive and compulsory chemotherapy treatment of patients with cancer over there more blood-derived transfusions are needed.
     
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  5. Dodo

    Dodo Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I asked my Consultant a few years back about donating blood. He said no one had ever asked him that before and was interested in finding out, so immediately left the room to speak to the Senior Consultant. The answer came back as no, they don't take donations from Type 1 diabetics.
     
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  6. Deleted Account

    Deleted Account · Guest

    I was told they do not take blood from people with type 1 diabetes.
    Actually I was told "there is no reason why a diabetic cannot give blood provided the diabetes is not treated with insulin."
    When I question this, I was told it had something to do with taking blood reducing BG and they are looking after the donor. I am not sure how this works because when I had surgery last year, they took a lot of blood pre-op and I had no problem. I guess this was not as much as the amount taken when giving blood.
    I did wonder whether it has anything to do with slow acting insulin within the donated blood. I don't know if this would survive the extraction or whether it would impact the donee (the blood receiver).
    But if this was the case, it is not relevant when the donor uses a pump with only fast acting insulin.
     
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  7. ealingr

    ealingr Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It's an interesting question. This suggests it is a policy for the protection of donors, rather than there being any problem with the donated blood: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/can-people-with-diabetes-give-blood.html

    I did ask years ago whether platelets could be donated (if not blood) and received the same answer - a flat "no" if you've got T1.

    While I guess you could just donate and not mention it, my concern would be if the fact came to light at a later stage and the people involved in taking the blood got in trouble for not properly "screening out" a T1.

    It looks like there's a good case to be made for changing the rules!
     
  8. Timostags

    Timostags · Well-Known Member

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    Yea my Grandad had leukemia, so I looked into giving bone marrow / stem cells. But found out people had developed T1 after receiving donations from T1 donors. That shocked me
     
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