Blood donation

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A blood donation occurs when a person voluntarily has blood drawn and used for transfusions and/or made into biopharmaceutical medications by a process called fractionation. Donation may be of whole blood, or of specific components directly. Blood banks often participate in the collection process as well as the procedures that follow it.

Blood donation and ME/CFS[edit | edit source]

Although there have been outbreaks leading to people being diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), or many other names such as Icelandic disease, Tapanui Flu, and Royal Free disease, a singular infectious trigger has not been found. XMRV was once thought to be the virus causing chronic fatigue syndrome,[1] but the research proved to be wrong and the paper retracted as it was found to be "a recombinant that had been created accidentally by earlier laboratory experiments."[2][3]

At one time there was a deferral of blood transfusions in the United Kingdom (UK) and United States (US)[4] although these recommendations are no longer found on the UK National Health Service Blood and Transplant or the US American Red Cross sites.[5] Australia still has a prohibition.[6]

There is no evidence that ME/CFS patients are contagious.[4] Initial infectious trigger(s) have led to outbreaks over the years and 72% of ME/CFS patients report an onset of a viral or bacterial infection.[7] Families, partners, and friends do not report contracting ME/CFS from someone with the disease ME/CFS or passing it on to others.[8] Because ME/CFS can run in families, a genetic link is a recommended line of research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).[9]

Prohibition[edit | edit source]

Blood donation by ME/CFS patients is banned or advised against in some countries:

  • United Kingdom: October 7, 2010, ME/CFS sufferers permanently deferred from giving blood. However, the page no longer exists.[5] The UK National Health Service Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) advise that blood donors are assessed on the following criteria
    1. Whether the donor is safe to give blood because of a medical condition which may be worsened by the act of giving blood. M.E. patients may not be able to compensate for the rapid removal of 15% of their blood volume, including iron, from their circulatory system. Healthy individuals are not normally affected by giving blood.
    2. Whether the blood donated is safe for transfusion for the recipient.
    3. Whether components such as haemoglobin and clotting factors in the donor’s blood are of a suitable quality for the blood product.[10] A phone call to the information NHSTB information line had stated "The reason people with M.E. can’t give blood is for the first reason, that it may affect our M.E. in that it could cause a worsening of our health if we are currently unwell, or a relapse if our health has improved. This is also given as the reason in Dr Barnes’ article in Blood and Transplant Matters (Barnes S. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Donor Exclusion. Blood and Transplant Matters").[11] The NHSBT page can no longer be found[5] and a search on the site does not provide results.
  • United States: When XMRV was believed to be the infectious agent causing CFS, the US Red Cross announced a halt of blood donations from patients.[1] After it was found that XMRV was not involved in CFS,[2][3] the Red Cross removed its announcement and recommendation pages prohibiting blood donations from CFS patients.[1]
  • Australia: The Australian Red Cross has posted: "Because we don’t know the cause of this serious, debilitating disease, we can’t rule out that it is caused by a transmissible infection that medical science hasn’t discovered yet. We also don’t know the potential health effects of long-term blood donation on people who have suffered chronic fatigue syndrome."[6]

Patient concerns[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.01.11.2 Stein, Rob (Dec 3, 2010). "Red Cross bars chronic fatigue patients from donating blood". washingtonpost.com. 
  2. 2.02.1 "Redaction, retraction and reaction". Nature Reviews Microbiology. 10 (12): 799. Dec 2012. doi:10.1038/nrmicro2928. ISSN 1740-1534. 
  3. 3.03.1 "Multicenter Study Finds No Correlation between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and XMRV". transfusionnews.com. Retrieved Feb 13, 2019. 
  4. 4.04.1 "Is chronic fatigue syndrome contagious? | HealthyWomen". www.healthywomen.org. Retrieved Feb 13, 2019. 
  5. 5.05.15.2 "NHS - Blood and Transplant Matters". hospital.blood.co.uk. Retrieved Feb 13, 2019. 
  6. 6.06.1 "Chronic fatigue syndrome – I have/had chronic fatigue syndrome. Can I donate? | Australian Red Cross Blood Service". www.donateblood.com.au. Retrieved Feb 22, 2019. 
  7. "CDC Public Health Grand Rounds - Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Advancing Research and Clinical Education" (PDF). cdc.gov. p. 6. 
  8. "Is CFS contagious? | ProHealth Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS and Lyme Disease Forums". forums.prohealth.com. Retrieved Feb 13, 2019. 
  9. "Possible Causes | Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) | CDC". www.cdc.gov. Jan 18, 2019. Retrieved Feb 13, 2019. 
  10. Beardall, Emily (Jun 18, 2015). "Can people with M.E. donate blood, bone marrow and organs?". A Prescription for M.E. Retrieved Feb 13, 2019. 
  11. Beardall, Emily (Jun 18, 2015). "Can people with M.E. donate blood, bone marrow and organs?". A Prescription for M.E. Retrieved Feb 13, 2019. 
  12. "Joan Irvine, Blood Letters / CFS-NEWS". web.archive.org. Nov 8, 2009. Retrieved Feb 22, 2019. 
  13. Williams, Margaret. "Invest in ME - The role of viruses in ME/CFS". www.investinme.org. Retrieved Feb 22, 2019. 

ME/CFS - An acronym that combines myalgic encephalomyelitis with chronic fatigue syndrome. Sometimes they are combined because people have trouble distinguishing one from the other. Sometimes they are combined because people see them as synonyms of each other.

Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) - A disease often marked by neurological symptoms, but fatigue is sometimes a symptom as well. Some diagnostic criteria distinguish it from chronic fatigue syndrome, while other diagnostic criteria consider it to be a synonym for chronic fatigue syndrome. A defining characteristic of ME is post-exertional malaise (PEM), or post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (PENE), which is a notable exacerbation of symptoms brought on by small exertions. PEM can last for days or weeks. Symptoms can include cognitive impairments, muscle pain (myalgia), trouble remaining upright (orthostatic intolerance), sleep abnormalities, and gastro-intestinal impairments, among others. An estimated 25% of those suffering from ME are housebound or bedbound. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies ME as a neurological disease.

Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) - A disease often marked by neurological symptoms, but fatigue is sometimes a symptom as well. Some diagnostic criteria distinguish it from chronic fatigue syndrome, while other diagnostic criteria consider it to be a synonym for chronic fatigue syndrome. A defining characteristic of ME is post-exertional malaise (PEM), or post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (PENE), which is a notable exacerbation of symptoms brought on by small exertions. PEM can last for days or weeks. Symptoms can include cognitive impairments, muscle pain (myalgia), trouble remaining upright (orthostatic intolerance), sleep abnormalities, and gastro-intestinal impairments, among others. An estimated 25% of those suffering from ME are housebound or bedbound. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies ME as a neurological disease.

Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) - A disease often marked by neurological symptoms, but fatigue is sometimes a symptom as well. Some diagnostic criteria distinguish it from chronic fatigue syndrome, while other diagnostic criteria consider it to be a synonym for chronic fatigue syndrome. A defining characteristic of ME is post-exertional malaise (PEM), or post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (PENE), which is a notable exacerbation of symptoms brought on by small exertions. PEM can last for days or weeks. Symptoms can include cognitive impairments, muscle pain (myalgia), trouble remaining upright (orthostatic intolerance), sleep abnormalities, and gastro-intestinal impairments, among others. An estimated 25% of those suffering from ME are housebound or bedbound. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies ME as a neurological disease.

The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.
From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history.