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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Need a Blood Donor? Sorry, Wish I could Help...

The other day I was at work when an e-mail came through announcing that they were urgently seeking volunteers to donate blood. When you work around the military - especially here in San Antonio where we have both Wilford Hall Medical Center and Brooke Army Medical Center - these requests are fairly common.

I'm sure that I had given blood before I joined the military so many years ago, but I distinctly remember in basic training having them load us all up into a bus and taking us to some blood donation center so we could all learn the importance of donating blood, and for those that hadn't done so, doing it for the first time. And of course, for the first few years in the military, I would do my duty and donate (gladly, by the way) on a routine basis.

That all changed when they invented Mad Cow Disease.

My first overseas assignment was to England, and my next overseas assignment was to Italy. I guess based on the years that I was in both places, at the particular times I was there (All during the 1980's), I was branded (pun intended) as non-eligible to donate.

So the other day when I got this e-mail, I got the name of the point of contact and fired off an e-mail back to her. I gave the specific dates of my time overseas and asked that surely, after 20 years, I was safe to begin donating blood again, right?

The response I got back was a polite, "thanks for trying", but unfortunately, I still can't donate. Oh, and that includes my wife and kids who were with me in Italy.

Don't you think by now, after this much time, someone would come up with a test that could scan my blood and verify that I don't have Mad Cow? More importantly, should I be worried so long after the fact that I might just in fact be developing Mad Cow. I don't know the exact symptoms, but I have put on a little weight this year.



Albatross said...

Too bad you can't give. They are always looking for donors, but they are pretty strict as to whose blood they will take and what procedure they follow. I was going to donate out at Fort Sam one day, and they have a rule that states you cannot give blood within sixty days of the previous donation. Their records showed it was day 59, and they turned me away. Of course, I came back a few days later, but they are sticklers when it comes to accepting your blood.

I don't mind, though.

Anonymous said...

Eva says :)

I just can't believe it .My question is how was I able to donate a kidney in 1990 but not blood ? Still no answer .Could I have passed on mad cow to my brother. My blood was tested. After going through the process of signing in and waiting and than to only be told No thanks... I told the guy to Moooove out of my way I'm leaving. It's enough to make you MAD ... hehehe get it :)

AlanDP said...

What about Canada? I ate a hamburger there a few years ago.

I don't donate anyway because the fatigue and dehydration that I get from it interferes with me doing my job. I used all the time, back when I had a desk job.

M2 said...

I'm in the same boat...they took several gallons of my blood before the Mad Cow restrictions came into place, and that was nearly 20 years ago and I don't recall hearing of any cases of Mad Cow in the States.

I always figure if they get that desperate for blood, they'll start taking ours again. Otherwise, the constant begging for donors appears to be just a marketing scheme...

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I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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