Blood donation would carry the risk of infection if a subset of ME/CFS patients were found to have an infectious disease cause, see Infectious disease hypothesis. Margaret Williams has written about this subject.
Blood donation by ME/CFS patients is banned or advised against in some countries:
- United Kingdom: 2010, ME/CFS sufferers permanently deferred from giving blood (NHS, 7 October 2010)
- United States: Patient Joan Irvine wrote to the Centers for Disease Control in early 1992 expressing concern at her belief she had contracted ME/CFS after blood transfusion in 1987 (she committed suicide in 1996). The CDC replied to her stating "However since ongoing research indicates an infectious agent may be involved in some cases of CFS it would seem prudent to refrain from donating blood until this issue is resolved". However a chronic fatigue diagnosis is not explicitly contraindicated for giving blood as per the American Red Cross guidelines.