Can Diabetics Donate Blood?



Ever wonder if diabetics can safely donate blood?

General Guidelines of the American Red Cross updated 5/5/2008:

To give blood for transfusion to another person, you must be healthy, be at least 17 years old or 16 years old if allowed by state law. You must weigh at least 110 pounds, and not have donated whole blood in the last 8 weeks (56 days) or double red cells in the last 16 weeks (112 days).

“Healthy” means that you feel well and can perform normal activities. If you have a chronic condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure, “healthy” also means that you are being treated and the condition is under control.

Additionally information:

Donors with diabetes who since 1980, ever used bovine (beef) insulin made from cattle from the United Kingdom are not eligible to donate. This requirement is related to concerns about variant CJD, or ‘mad cow’ disease

More information on eligibility requirements are available at the American Red Cross site or check your local blood donation facility.

Ready to Donate?

Here’s a Little Info on the Donation Process:

Individuals can donate blood every eight weeks. It’s an ongoing need as red blood cells can only be stored for 42 days and platelets for 5 days.

From 1995-1999 the U.S. government put into place regulations to increase the safety of donated blood including testing to identify genetic viruses such as HIV and HCV.

Blood donating is considered a safe process. Bags and needles are used once and then disposed of. The FDA regulates all blood banks.

Do you have concerns about donation safety? The American Red Cross provides a presentation to answer all your questions about donating and giving the gift of life.

What do you know about blood? Take the quiz.

Test your knowledge here.

Donated Whole Blood:

Donated whole blood is divided into the components of red blood cells, plasma and platelets. On any day 34,000 units of red blood cells are needed in the United States, and only 5% of those eligible actually donate. Those five percent make up 12.6 million donated units per year.

Blood Types

Break down of Blood Types in The United States

  • O positive 38%
  • O negative 7%
  • A positive 34%
  • A negative 6%
  • B positive 9%
  • B negative 2%
  • AB positive 3%
  • AB negative 1%

Source:The American Red Cross.

The Universal Donor Theory?

Per the Mayo Clinic: “There is no universal blood donor type. Donated blood is routinely classified by type as A, B, AB or O, and as Rh positive or Rh negative. In the past, people with Type O/Rh negative blood were considered universal blood donors. This implied that anyone, regardless of blood type, could receive Type O/Rh negative blood without risking a transfusion reaction.” However now it is understood that even this type of donor could cause reactions.


What is an Rh factor?

It’s a protein substance in red blood cells that can cause a reaction. These factors are inherited and you receive one from each parent, either Rh- or Rh +. Most people are Rh+. Incompatibility problems occur when an Rh- mother has an Rh+ positive baby as their can be a blood reaction. For more information on this topic check Kids Health for Parents.

Now how about some trivia?

56 Facts about Blood and Blood Donations.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for dropping by Ryan. I didn’t know this either.

    I agree. Donating blood is one of the easiest things we can do in the spirit of volunteerism.

  2. Reposting as it gave an error on my screen:
    This was an informative post. I didn’t know about the Bovine insulin restriction. I guess each diabetic has to take the call and decide if he fit to donate. First there has to be a will, and then there will be a way. People should consider donating, esp when they are of the rarer blood groups.

  3. This was an informative post. I didn’t know about the Bovine insulin restriction. I guess each diabetic has to take the call and decide if he fit to donate. First there has to be a will, and then there will be a way.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.
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