Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Malaria and Blood Donations Don't Mix

I’ve been involved with the American Red Cross blood donation program since college. It has continued throughout my adult life. I have probably donated gallons over the course of 40+ years.

So imagine my consternation when I walked into the local blood drive and found out I couldn’t give.

Why? Because, within the last 8 months, I had visited a place that is known to have malaria. I had to wait a full year, from my return, before I could donate again.

And I'm certainly not the only one. This article at HighBeam describes how the availability of donated blood in our country suffers significantly because of this.

For more information on blood donation criteria, see the American Red Cross Blood Donation Eligibility Guidelines site.

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