Read more about cookies here. There is no upper age limit for blood donation as long as you are well with no restrictions or limitations to your activities. You must be in good health and feeling well**. To ensure the safety of blood donation for both donors and recipients, all volunteer blood donors must be evaluated to determine their eligibility to give blood. You may have a small bruise on your arm. The donor questionnaire captures relevant information about you and your donation. Of the U.K.’s plans to scrap the three-month window for gay men, health secretary Matt Hancock said “this landmark change to blood donation is safe and it will allow many more people, who have previously been excluded by donor selection criteria, to take the opportunity to help save lives.”. Only two Canadians have died of vCJD, neither of whom got it from tainted blood — an indication, perhaps, that the deferral policy has kept this country’s blood supply safe. Legitimate fears about HIV and hepatitis existed back then, as they do now. Join the mailing list to receive daily email updates. If you don't see it please check your junk folder. “It’s no longer just theoretical,” said Dr. Mindy Goldman, medical director for donor and transplant services for Canadian Blood Services. Residents of Quebec can donate at any Canadian Blood Services donor centre in Canada, though we do not operate centres within the province of Quebec. But the change does more than increase the depth of the blood donor pool. This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. Bill C-7 'is state sanctioned suicide for people who may have otherwise had many years of life left,' advocate says. Risk ought to be assessed based on behaviour, not stereotypes. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. A new package is used every time. “It actually has happened — not often, but it’s a pretty horrible disease.”. While some would call this progress, the bottom line is unchanged: national blood donation policies discriminate based on gender and sexuality. The UK refers to England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and the Falkland Islands. Since 1995, 177 people in the U.K. have died of vCJD. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. It’s really just a screening to determine blood eligibility.”. Human cadaveric pituitary-derived hGH was available in the U.S. from 1958 to 1985. The needle and bag used to collect blood are sterile and prepackaged. If you have a tattoo, you can only donate blood if you meet certain requirements. So, if you are currently taking medication and want to know if you can give blood, check the top 40 acceptable and unacceptable medications first. Now, only a few hundred new donors are affected annually. According to Canadian Blood Services, the agency responsible for Canada’s blood supply, only four per cent of Canadians roll up their sleeves to donate each year. It’s now comparable to the transfusion rate in Canada. - Eligibility quiz - MyAccount, Canadian Blood Services Watch above: Five things to know about donating blood TORONTO – The supply of blood in Canada is at a five-year low at a time of year when donations are hard to … Three of them acquired it from blood transfusions. Australia: According to the Australia Red Cross Blood Service survivors of solid tumors (but not blood-related cancers) may donate blood five years after cancer treatment is completed and remain cancer free. Rabies. Plasma donations are where donation criteria are likely to change first, … Please try again. What's your policy for people who have lived in the United Kingdom (UK)?We currently can’t take blood donations from people who lived in the UK for six months or more from 1 January 1980 to 31 December 1996. You can only donate blood 7 days after you discontinue these medications. Permanent Reasons Please do not give blood if you. ... attended a blood donation clinic in D'Olier Street, Dublin and became the first man who has had sex with another man to donate blood openly in the Republic of Ireland since the lifetime deferral policy was first introduced in the 1980s. It actually makes the blood collected even safer. Keep in mind that all donors, regardless of age, must weigh at least 50 kg (110 lbs) to be considered eligible to donate blood and plasma. A woman who is menstruating, (safer to donate a week after it). In Canada, the deferral period was decreased to 3 months in June 2019. If you are suffering from conditions like hemophilia , Thallasemia or any other blood disorder. When Canadian Blood Services issued a public appeal for donors ahead of the Canada Day holiday, Barrhaven resident Carl Raskin stepped up. In-Depth Discussion of Age and Blood Donation. One of the most controversial restrictions is that men who have sex with men (MSM) cannot donate blood unless they have abstained from all sex for at least three months. Sexual history. In 2019, Canada shifted to a three-month window during which gay men must abstain from oral and anal sex before donating. When you can donate: Plasma – Straight away; Blood and/or platelets – 4 months after you return we can test your blood for malaria antibodies (proteins that your body makes when fighting a malaria infection). There isn't really a simple answer, so we'll start with this: If you've traveled outside of the United States and Canada … What about Canada? Donating blood during COVID-19: Is it safe? A woman who is menstruating, (safer to donate a week after it). There is no maximum age limit. There isn't a simple 'yes' or 'no' answer to whether cancer patients can donate blood. I’m ready to roll up my sleeve. Alcohol. In rare cases, a person's arm may bleed after the bandage is taken off. It’s time for Health Canada and Canadian Blood Services to expedite the glacial pace of reviewing inadequate, archaic rules that discriminate against people like me based on gender and sexual orientation. Please read the following information before coming to donate: 1. Female donors+ must be at least 19 years old, at least 5'5" tall and weigh at least 150 lbs. Even if it’s small, we owe it to patients to try to prevent any risk that we can.”, Still, Raskin is frustrated. Out-of-sync libidos can strike when you least expect it. There are other ways to give. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. And while the British use fresh blood — which has a short shelf life — for transfusions, they import all plasma, used in the manufacture of other blood products. There is no upper age limit for blood donation as long as you are well with no restrictions or limitations to your activities. But not everybody can donate. ; U.K.: Guidelines from the United Kingdom Blood Transfusion Services state that cancer survivors may not donate blood. Strangely, the same dogmatic rationale that bans gay men from donating allows straight people who engage in the same risky sexual behaviours to donate blood without so much as a caution. The Netherlands, France and the United States adopted similar celibacy windows this year, in part because pandemic restrictions decreased donations and forced them to seek new donors. These policies are not based on risky behaviour; they are based on heteronormative stereotypes that gay men act in ways that increase the odds of having HIV and other blood-borne diseases. It is a confidential questionnaire that helps decide if you are eligible to give blood. If there is a question you do not understand, or would like to discuss eligibility based on your responses, contact 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283). If this happens, raise your arm and put pressure on the needle site for several minutes. It's an unfortunate fact that sexually active gay men are not permitted to donate blood. DISCLAIMER The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. “If we were having terrible blood shortages and putting patients at risk because of the ban, absolutely, you would have to reassess that.”. Well, yes, yes it is. So, if someone with Type O blood was to try and donate plasma to someone with Type B blood, that plasma would contain anti-A and anti-B antibodies. Call your local blood center ask about what they look for in a … Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. In Canada, 52% of people say they or a family member have needed blood or blood products at some point in their lives. Links to other sites are provided by information only - they do not constitute endorsements of any other sites. Many people who have been treated for cancer are eligible to donate blood, provided they fall within certain guidelines and eligibility guidelines do vary among organizations. As a gay Canadian, it’s been a dream of mine to donate blood; one that, despite the U.K.’s announcement, remains out of reach on this side of the pond. 66 kg (146 lb) Less that 147 cm (4'10") Sorry, you are not eligible. Even so, the policy cost Canadian Blood Services three to four per cent of its donors. If it’s clear, you can resume donating these. Men Who Have Sex With Men- Health Canada has approved our request to reduce the blood donation waiting period for men who have sex with men from five years to one year. Canadian standards for blood donation dictates that 17 is the earliest age at which you can donate blood. At first, the move was purely precautionary, based on fears that people who ate beef from infected cattle might develop a deadly human form of mad cow disease known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). But when he called to make an appointment, Raskin was told he wasn’t eligible to donate because he’d travelled regularly to Britain and France for work in the 1990s, when an epidemic of mad cow disease was raging. Why we talk about this screening criterion Before the introduction of testing for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the mid-1980s, thousands of Canadians were infected through tainted blood products. To give blood, you must be at least 17 years of age and a healthy weight, usually 110 pounds (50 kg) or heavier. Your blood type is important not only when it comes to donations of red cells, but also when we’re talking about donations of plasma, which contains certain antibodies depending on your blood type. Unauthorized distribution, transmission or republication strictly prohibited. People who’ve had other types of cancer may need to … Yet the basic premise of the ban on gay men donating blood remains the same – that in being gay, we are, collectively, too risky a group to tap into. The three-month waiting period was introduced in 2019 as an incremental step towards updating the blood donation criteria. Canada’s ban on men who have sex with men donating blood has been in place since 1977. Healthy Debate deputy editor Blair Bigham is on hiatus as an emergency doctor while he pursues an anesthesia critical care fellowship at Stanford University. Ethan Spibey, the British activist who has led a six-year campaign to have the rules changed, said “simply being a man who has sex with men is not a good enough reason to exclude someone from donating blood.” It seems the U.K. government finally agrees; by the summer of next year, when the policy is to be implemented, gay men won’t have to give up their sex life to give up their blood. You can’t donate if you’re currently being treated for cancer or if you’ve had leukemia or lymphoma.   Please keep donating. “It’s a much simpler, standardized approach. His blood type is O-negative. “I haven’t given blood for years,” said Raskin, a 66-year-old retired public servant. My own record, working in a trauma intensive care unit in residency, was 202 units, or about 100 litres, of blood products poured into a single patient. Check your eligibility online or call 13 14 95. The new policy won’t apply to time spent in those countries after Jan. 1, 2008. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Unauthorized distribution, transmission or republication strictly prohibited. “I don’t even touch meat!”. To give blood you must: Be in general good health. Trauma, cancer and transplant patients all require blood, sometimes hundreds of units in a single hospital stay. Today, men are eligible to give blood if it has been more than three months since their last sexual contact with a man. Those in monogamous relationships won’t have to be abstinent at all. In-Depth Discussion of Age and Blood Donation. If you are below 147 cm (4’ 10”), you may become eligible when you turn 23 or move up the chart. Be at least 17 years old. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings. Donating Blood If You Have Cancer . Unfortunately, you’ll never be able to donate blood in the United States, according to a national spokesman for the American Red Cross. It's an important question to ask before you line up at a blood drive. But despite our generous collective effort, shortages abound. Visit our community guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings. But it’s not the 1980s anymore; HIV is no longer the mysterious “gay man’s disease” it once was and screening techniques have advanced significantly. ; Canada: Contact the Canadian Blood Services to discuss criteria. Those younger than age 17 are almost always legal minors (not yet of the age of majority) who cannot give consent by themselves to donate blood. They also don’t take into account contemporary risk-reducing behaviours like using condoms and taking pre-exposure prophylaxis antiretroviral pills. When Canadian Blood Services issued a public appeal for donors ahead of the Canada Day holiday, Barrhaven resident Carl Raskin responded. The rules for donating blood shouldn't be based on stereotypes. Read our coronavirus rulesabout donating blood 2. Before adopting the 1999 policy, Canadian Blood Services did travel surveys of donors to see how many would be affected, looking for how to provide the biggest risk reduction “without crashing the whole system,” Goldman said. The need for blood donation. When you donate, you´re using the power to Give Life. In the coming months, it plans to amend its current policy that rejects blood donations from anyone who’s spent five years or more in European countries other than France or the UK since 1980. “That’s quite a big hit in one go,” said Goldman. Male donors+ must be at least 17 years old in most states, at least 5'1" tall and weigh at least 130 lbs. © 2021 Ottawa Citizen, a division of Postmedia Network Inc. All rights reserved. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. One may not donate blood while one has the flu. It means taking charge of your health and wellness, Healthing.ca's Lisa Machado tells Harrowsmith Radio. Canadian Blood Services urges donations as … Read our latest advice for blood donors If you have been diagnosed with vCJD, CJD or any other TSE or have a blood relative diagnosed with genetic CJD (e.g., fCJD, GSS, or FFI) you cannot donate. That doesn’t mean Canadian Blood Services is unwilling to change, however. Find the original story here. Carl Raskin cannot donate blood because he spent a cumulative total of three or more months in the U.K. or France between1980 and 1996. Sign up to receive daily headline news from Ottawa Citizen, a division of Postmedia Network Inc. A welcome email is on its way. The need for blood donation. Many other countries have similar policies. Had a positive antibody test for HIV (aids virus). Canada’s ban on men who have sex with men donating blood has been in place since 1977. It’s that simple. What to Expect When You Give Blood. A minimum age limit exists as to how old a person must be in order to donate blood (usually age 17). After the tainted-blood scandals of the 1980s, responsibility for Canada’s blood supply was transferred from the Red Cross Society to Canadian Blood Services. As the years have passed, the policy’s impact on donor numbers has declined. If you are 16-70 years old, healthy and weigh over 50kg you may be eligible to donate blood. Interestingly, there is no upper age limit for donating. A southern Alberta woman says she would like to help Canadian Blood Services (CBS) ease its blood shortage but she is not allowed to donate. All in all, to give blood for transfusion to another person, you must be healthy, be at least 18 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, and not have donated blood in the last 56 days. In 2019, Health Canada approved Canadian Blood Services’ and Héma-Québec’s applications to reduce the men who have sex with men waiting period from one year to three months. “We know there are not very many donors we would gain back by flip-flopping on the policy. Opinion: Alberta and Canada urgently need to maintain control of domestic blood supply. If you received an injection of cadaveric pituitary human growth hormone (hGH) you cannot donate. Goldman sympathizes, but said the agency’s approach is driven by the practicalities of trying to ensure safe blood. You can still travel to donate. We apologize, but this video has failed to load. ; Canada: Contact the Canadian Blood Services to discuss criteria. Those younger than age 17 are almost always legal minors (not yet of the age of majority) who cannot give consent by themselves to donate blood. “My blood is always in demand, and I can’t give it.” Moreover, he’s a vegetarian. “I wanted to give back to the community.”. “It was felt that the system could withstand a three-month travel deferral without sustaining a grievous loss of donors.”. If you make a blood donation at a Héma-Québec donor centre, your donation will be acknowledged as part of your Canadian Blood Services donation count. No end in sight for 'mad cow' ban on blood donations in Canada. If you are suffering from conditions like hemophilia , Thallasemia or any other blood disorder. While the last few years have seen lifelong bans on gay men donating blood replaced with “deferral” policies that require gay men to abstain from sex for anywhere between three and 12 months, this is the first time gay men in a G8 country have not all been painted with the same … Getty. In the U.K., the epicentre of the mad cow outbreak, officials obviously couldn’t ban all donations by residents. Usually, you cannot donate blood if: You had hepatitis when you were 11 years or older You have received a blood transfusion within the last year You are pregnant, or have been pregnant within the last six weeks We encountered an issue signing you up. The rules for donating blood shouldn't be based on stereotypes. If you are taking Arixtra, Coumadin, or heparin, you cannot donate since they will cause blood to clot abnormally. See additional requirements for student donors >>. As an emergency physician, I have seen donated blood save countless lives. That's due to an … Our country also needs organ and tissue donors, but not enough Canadians have made plans to donate. Australia: According to the Australia Red Cross Blood Service survivors of solid tumors (but not blood-related cancers) may donate blood five years after cancer treatment is completed and remain cancer free. While the last few years have seen lifelong bans on gay men donating blood replaced with “deferral” policies that require gay men to abstain from sex for anywhere between three and 12 months, this is the first time gay men in a G8 country have not all been painted with the same brush. Blair Bigham: The U.K. ended their blanket ban on gay men donating blood. ; U.K.: Guidelines from the United Kingdom Blood Transfusion Services state that cancer survivors may not donate blood. First, they sharply scaled back their blood transfusion rate, which had been high. A good rule of thumb is that you may not be able to give blood if … Others, like Brazil, have had the courts strike down bans on the basis of discrimination while a few, like Spain and Argentina, have no restrictions whatsoever. This website uses cookies to personalize your content (including ads), and allows us to analyze our traffic. The stay-at-home order, explained, Alcoholics Anonymous in the age of COVID-19. Read more. 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4. Australian Red Cross Lifeblood - Call 13 14 95 Sixteen year olds can donate with written permission from their parents if they are at least 110 pounds. Find out how you can get involved by becoming a volunteer or peer leader - organizing a high-school blood donation events - by emailing us at feedback@blood.ca or calling 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283). Giving blood and platelets is essential to the NHS and vulnerable patients. If you are 16 or younger you can’t donate. Canada’s hospitals collectively transfuse nearly 1 million units of blood each year to patients, all of it donated by Canadians. By applying individualized risk criteria to all people, not just gay men, the new rules will exclude heterosexual people who engage in behaviours shown to be high risk for contracting blood-borne viruses like HIV and hepatitis, such as anal sex outside of a monogamous relationship. You CANNOT get HIV from donating blood. “It’s hard to attribute summer shortages to the ban,” she said. Permanent Reasons Please do not give blood if you. Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. “We’re not doing individual risk assessments,” she explained. In Canada, 52% of people say they or a family member have needed blood or blood products at some point in their lives. Goldman says that several research projects in Canada, as part of a $3 million federal initiative, are currently looking at the question of how to screen more fairly, and two are focusing on the donation of plasma — the liquid part of blood that is used to make products like albumin and immune globulin. This story was originally published on Healthy Debate. Unless a screening test is developed — and no human test is currently undergoing trials — the present policy is unlikely to change in Canada. 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