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  #1  
Old 02-09-2008, 07:10 PM
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Donating Blood


Ive thought about starting to donate blood regularly.
Does having epilepsy prevent me from doing so?
Would having less blood in me increase the
risk of having a seizure? According to the Red
Cross website, it takes about 2 months for your
body to replace the missing red blood cells.
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Old 02-09-2008, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by xenome View Post:
Ive thought about starting to donate blood regularly.
Does having epilepsy prevent me from doing so?
Would having less blood in me increase the
risk of having a seizure? According to the Red
Cross website, it takes about 2 months for your
body to replace the missing red blood cells.
You will find more information here:

Donating Blood - Epilepsy Foundation Article

Last edited by brain; 02-09-2008 at 08:04 PM. Reason: added article link
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Old 02-09-2008, 08:13 PM
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From the above article:
Quote :
"The studies done by Dr. Krumholz showed that it is perfectly safe for people with epilepsy to donate," said Joan Gibble, M.D., medical director at Greater Chesapeake Potomac American Red Cross, the first blood region nationwide to change its policy.

Current Red Cross donor criteria state that a donor with a history of epilepsy must be seizure-free for a period of three months, either on prescribed medication or not on medication.

"It seems to be working well. The donors with epilepsy and the Red Cross are mutually happy," Gibble said. Beam couldn't be happier himself. As soon as he was accepted, he began an aggressive donation campaign, which now averages about two visits per month.


Quote :
I just called the red cross and they told me that if you are seizure free for six months you can donate blood, but maybe it is the anti-epileptic drug I am on. Try and call them at 1800 give life.
http://www.epilepsy.com/node/963645

Different places have different rules. I know in the US it varies by state, whereas in Canada there is one set of rules for the whole country.


http://www.redcross.org/services/bio...0_557_,00.html

I am big on donating blood, or platelets. If you can you should. It makes me feel like I have given the gift of life to someone.
Though I do understand why they would want you seizure free for a few months. If your seizures are due to an imbalance of some sort, it might make your blood less healthy. IMO Also, if you were to have a seizure while on the table, the mess that could possible occur, might be too much for many of the helpers.

Last edited by RobinN; 02-09-2008 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 02-10-2008, 09:50 AM
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It appears the greater concern is that drawing blood might induce a seizure. It can make those without seizure disorders light headed/dizzy, so it seems reasonable.

I would have thought there would be an issue with the anti-epileptic drugs titrated in the blood, but it appears that it isn't a concern.
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Old 02-10-2008, 12:19 PM
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Bernard:

It used to be "against the law", so
I was told, I donated over 2 gallons
of blood before they spied my EFA
(Epilepsy Foundation of America
Card) in early 80s when they asked
for my Driver's License and it got
stuck in my wallet, and it was THEN
when they got 'upset' with me (the
Blood Bank) for not reporting it.

But it wasn't asked for on the form
nor did they ask for such info when
the questions were asked! I didn't
know it was 'illegal'. But they didn't
'throw me out' - they discharged me
with honors and a letter of gratitude.
I could no longer donate blood any
more... and had been told this for
years ~ and I posted this; and then
decided to throw in a link and only
to find out you CAN donate now,
with some exceptions.

*sigh*

Gotta love the Red Tape!

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Old 02-10-2008, 12:27 PM
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In the period without seizures & therapy I used to give blood regularly - without any consequences.
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Old 02-10-2008, 01:42 PM
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Thank you for all your responses and information.
Ill have to call them tomorrow and ask them.
What I do know is that Im not allowed to donate
a kidney. I assume due to my epilepsy because
with the exception of my seizures, Im pretty healthy.
So I was worried about the blood donation.
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Old 02-10-2008, 08:03 PM
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My sister works with an EMT division and I occasionally asked them if they needed my blood because is isn't a common type. I then found out that they wanted my blood mixed with dilantin for head trauma victims. After chemo began, they are not so earger but a rare blood type with what we have is worth donating.
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Old 02-11-2008, 07:18 PM
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My blood type isnt a common rh factor..... ive thought about donating but wasnt sure they would let me because of the meds....

right now im to sick though...

love angel
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:17 PM
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I'm hoping to donate blood tomorrow. I'm hoping they'll let me. I did have a seizure on the first of January, but that was the only one I have had in a long time. I looked at the medication restrictions online, and there is no problem with that, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed...
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:54 PM
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I'm a regular blood donor.

With the old health forms there was a question about seizures and I'd have to go through that question/answer period each time, with them checking notebooks, etc. Now they re-vamped the forms and there is no longer a question about seizures so I don't mention it--no reason to.

Even with the old form, they would ask which medications I took but there was never an issue. Now there's not even a question about which medications you take.

I go to the San Diego Blood Bank...I don't know how universal each health form is.
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Old 02-14-2009, 04:07 AM
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I've always been told I can't donate blood because of my epilepsy.
I'm refractory that's basically reason I was given as why I can't.
My husband who is diabetic can't donate blood either.
Belinda
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Old 02-14-2009, 07:17 AM
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My son donates blood a few times a year. He has never been turned down for his epilepsy. I will have to ask him if they know or if they ask. The only time they turned him down was after we went to Santo Domingo. They wont let you give blood a year or two, after you visit some countries.

Its a good thing you do *
joan*
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Old 02-14-2009, 07:43 AM
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I donate every 4 months. have never been turned down so far. they say if i'm seizure-free for the last 6 months it's ok. the more anal donation centers throw you out, but most are understanding and let you donate. I'm glad you guys are donating. there is a dearth of awareness here and very few people donate (compared to the need).
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Old 02-14-2009, 10:02 PM
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Somebody donated blood and it saved my life. But in WA they wont let me donate just because of meds. But thank you to all who do. When I had my surgery my big old skull would not seperate. So they had to do transfusions. I am type o- .
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Old 02-14-2009, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by stilldancing_98 View Post:
Somebody donated blood and it saved my life. But in WA they wont let me donate just because of meds. But thank you to all who do. When I had my surgery my big old skull would not seperate. So they had to do transfusions. I am type o- .
How very sad that they made this decision.
I, too, am O-, as well as RSV negative. Therefore they split my donated blood into two donations for babies and I am able to help two lives with each donation.
Come to San Diego! :-)
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