Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

I went to go do my civic duty today and give blood since the Red Cross Blood Drive showed up at Reuters here in St. Louis today ... BUT ... it seems that the FDA has provided new rules for who can give blood these days. The new rule is if you have been in Western Europe anytime since 1986 then you can't give blood because of the Mad Cow scare. And since I have eaten all those cheeseburgers in London recently - I was excluded and told that I can't give. I was disappointed. The lady at the blood drive (from the Red Cross) said that this new rule is hurting them badly as many of their donors now can't donate and that the Red Cross was working with the FDA in hopes of getting the rules changed.

posted @ Friday, July 16, 2004 12:21 PM
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# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by David Totzke at 7/16/2004 1:31 PM
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Wow, that must exclude an enormous number of people. Absolute insanity. No pun intended.

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by paul at 7/21/2004 12:01 PM
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I often gave blood, but since living in Eire from '86 to '01 I no longer can. There was no BSE in Kerry, I lived on my garden and by fishing.

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by D. Wright at 1/22/2007 3:25 PM
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Yes, I've been to Europe and was told today that I can not give blood either. My question is... they had a 'mad cow' scare here in the U.S. and Canada, but there's no limitations there. What's the deal? I was told that giving blood reduces the chance of having heart disease in men, but now am unable to give blood.

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by Melanie at 7/26/2007 11:11 AM
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I am from Germany and tried to give blood the other day. I also wanted to get registered as a possible bone marrow donor.
Well, since I only moved to the USA about 2 years ago I was not allowed to donate blood.
This is stupid! Can you imagine how many people are excluded by this rule?
So you want to do something good but can't...

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by blood suckers at 9/12/2007 3:54 AM
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Just today 9/11/07 I went to blood bank bus and I was not a wear of this FDA bulshit stuff after she asked all the Q’s and when she got to tell me have u lived in europe from 86 till what ever she said I said yes about maybe 8 years she said no u can’t blood maybe u will have a chance of that mad cow daisies I don’t even eat red meet it doesn’t make no sense what so ever why the use should stop the politic relations because all European are in one time or other they are going to trigger with some crazy’s stuff like mad cow European are crazy bullshit I’ trying to do some thing good to help to donate some blood to the people they really need it so FDA think about it.

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by Jamie at 11/14/2007 8:50 AM
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That is ridiculous! There has only been 1 case EVER that documents the possible passing of mad cow disease through a transfusion. they have extensive screening of the blood anyway!

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by NRK at 5/2/2008 12:09 PM
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But the whole time I spent in Europe, 1988-1993, I could give blood to the DRK (German Red Cross) and US Forces. My blood was good enough for our soldiers but not our civilians... go figure!

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by irritated at 6/16/2008 4:12 PM
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I went to give blood today to help flood victims, and was turned away despite my good health because I am dating an African man. I am so put off! It feels so discriminatory, even though I can somewhat understand where they are coming from, it seems ridiculous to ban whole countries. My boyfriend has lived here since he was 16 and is getting his second bachelors degree, in the nursing field! Why can't they still take the blood and then test it, if it's not good then dispose of it and send people a letter? I spent 3 hours waiting, and got a sunburn to top it off.

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by just an european guy at 8/30/2008 12:42 AM
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you want to know why we cant give blood any more? because of fcking CHERNOBYL. That's what happened in 8fcking6. nobody cares about cows. radiation is much more dangerous.

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by Mark at 11/7/2008 9:35 AM
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THIS IS A ABSOLUTE SLAP IN THE FACE OF EVERY US SERVICE MEMBER INCLUDING ME! some would say "why be so upset? its just giving blood, its their loss" but my blood might save the life of a fellow veteran, I have been giving since the age of 17 and to be told by the very government that put me in Germany that I can no longer give blood because I was there is absurd. It does not take 20 years for mad cow to hit. not only that but that means every serviceman can no longer give blood because sooner or later you end up on Europe. The FDA needs to pull their head out of their rectum.

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by Lil' Boosie at 2/25/2009 10:33 AM
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I hear ya bruh..

they need to get there mind right

YA HEARD!

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by JT at 3/27/2009 2:56 PM
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This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard! I went to the blood bank today (3/27/09) and spent the time to fill out all those questions, and then the nurse asked me if I've been in Europe for more than 5 years since 1986. I told her I did because I am from Switzerland. Then, she told me I can't donate blood because of the mad cow scare... She then added I can't donate blood anywhere I go in the world, I was like WTF... I donated blood in Switzerland after 1986. RIDICULOUS! booe USA!

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by ashley at 5/5/2009 11:22 PM
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I think its ridiculous too. I was born in Germany in 1988 (on a military base) and lived there for four years, and I've never been allowed to donate blood. I've always wanted to and it makes me mad because if I had the opportunity, I would donate blood at every available chance. I'm sick and tired of getting criticized by other people for NOT donating blood, because obviously they can't tell that I'm "not allowed".

I honestly think there has to be something more to it than this whole "Mad Cow" thing. I've survived this long... I don't have Mad Cow. I've been curious for awhile now, wondering if maybe theres some other reason why they don't want us to donate blood that they are trying to cover up. But I do hope they change the rules soon...

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by djswift99 at 7/31/2009 7:20 PM
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I think that this is terrible. Speaking from a personal experiance. I have a bleeding disorder that makes my blood not clot on its own. As a result if I am cut, or in a car accident or any other thing that makes me bleed I would need a blood transfusion to save my life. If they can make sure blood doesn't have HIV why can't they make sure there is no mad cow? I would rather have someone donate blood that could possibly have mad cow then die and leave my husband and children alone.

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by Blume at 8/21/2009 3:35 PM
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happend to me too just a few weeks ago. Wanted to give blood but was not allowed bc I am German and lived there till 1990.
But I gave blood in another State in 2000, that sure put them in a frenzy and they even called me back and questioned me about that< i hope I dont get arrested LOL.

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by Blume at 8/21/2009 3:46 PM
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Any person who lived in certain parts of the world during certain times are unable to donate due to the risk of the human variant of Mad Cow Disease. The human variant is called variant Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease (vCJD) which is also a fatal brain disease. Scientists believe that vCJD is Mad Cow Disease that has somehow transferred to humans, possibly through the food chain.

Found that on another web side

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by Desi at 8/26/2009 5:17 PM
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Yeah we had a blood Drive today at work. Done by USC. I can't donate either... I am from Germany...
lol and then they tell you "blood is rare this summer..." yeah right..if they are too picky.... Buuuuut.. how many people get infected by other things in soiled blood...how about testing it before giving it to someone..
"Safe lifes...but don't make it inconvenient..." lol

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by Millie at 9/17/2009 10:39 AM
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I just left the blood drive here at work on 9/17/2009. I was stationed in Spain in 1986 and 1987 and was not allowed to give blood. Is there something that they know about -- but is not telling us? I find it strange that the information regarding the blood band is not abundant.

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by harvey wyatt at 9/22/2009 9:51 AM
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I was stationed in furth germany.from1983to 1985.served my country honorbly.and thay faild all of us soldiors.by not informing us about.MADCOW.

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by ieva at 9/23/2009 1:12 AM
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Honestly, I think this is ridiculous. I am 18, and I went to a Blood Drive here in Korea (my fam. is stationed here) and I coulnd't give blood because I was born in Europe. I was told that I never ever can donate blood.

That makes me wonder---where does the European blood supply come from? Do they buy American blood???
And didn't a few people get Mad Cow in the U.S. and Canada?

And another thing, they have to test the blood (for HIV, AIDS, etc.) so why can't they test for vCJD...?

This really ruined my day. And I was only trying to do something nice...

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by borogirl at 11/7/2009 6:47 PM
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Ieva, Europeans get the blood from Europe and they are fine with it. This whole thing about mad cow is ridiculous and pathetic. Unless it's really about something else...

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by Esther Julian at 11/11/2009 6:09 AM
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11/9/2009 I went to give blood and was turned away as I lived in the Netherlands from 1979-1981 (3 years) my husband was stationed there. I gave blood from middle 1990 through 2000 and a few times after that and I have never been told this until now.

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by Born in Germany at 12/11/2009 4:42 PM
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What's totally crazy is that I actually can be a bone marrow doner but I can not donate blood.. Aren't blood cells made in bone marrow? What's the dea?l.. I have type AB+ blood!

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by Helen Spillane at 12/13/2009 6:02 AM
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I just went to donate blood and was turned away because I'm from Irelans and lived also in London. it's OK for me to take care of sick patients (I'm a nurse) but I can't donate blood. I have been here since 1986. MCD was not around when I lived in Europe. It is very upsetting given the fact that there is such a shortage of blood. I hope they change this rule soon. We have a high % of Europeans living here.

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by Denver Giver at 12/22/2009 7:28 AM
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I gave blood today and was allowed to give after living in Germany for three years... here are the requirements they gave me:

vCJD Variant Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease (human form of mad cow disease)

* Donor is deferred for travel/residence of three months or more in the United Kingdom from 1980-1996.
* Extended periods of time (5+ years between 1980 and 1996) in Europe may be a reason for deferral, however donors should speak with a representative before they decide not to donate blood. Each case will be assessed at the time of donation.

Hope that helps.

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by linda at 12/24/2009 6:30 AM
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i am mad as a cow...they will not let me donate blood because i am from germany but been in the USA for almost 20 years and never been back.......so now im asking myselfe ...do i have the MAD COW ....... NOOOOOOOOOOOO....but yes im mad as a cow.......
and i know im not the only one...just trying to help...
now what about organ donar....i am a organ donor and my GERMAN blood is still going thru my organs.......anybody have some answers??????please

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by Maria at 1/25/2010 8:35 AM
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I was turned away this past weekend. I was born in Spain and lived there for 9 years before moving to the US. I donated blood once, in 1997, without incident. I saw one of the above posts had the following:
"* Extended periods of time (5+ years between 1980 and 1996) in Europe may be a reason for deferral, however donors should speak with a representative before they decide not to donate blood. Each case will be assessed at the time of donation."
I wasn't given the option of assessment--I was simply thanked for my time and rejected. I feel like this should be better publicized, especially because of how many military people are stationed in Europe and how many college students spend months and sometimes years studying abroad. Waste of 2 hours.

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by Ava at 2/1/2010 4:16 PM
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It is incredibly frustrating. I have tried to give blood countless times, and mostly I was turned away because of anemia. One day I try again, and my iron is perfect! I am so happy at this point becuase I really want to help others, but then the tech calls me back into the office stating that I cannot give blood becuase I lived in Germany from 80-85 due to Mad Cow. Mad Cow?! That just blows me away. I am glad to see that I am not alone. I really wish they would come out with a test. I lived in Europe 25 five years ago. Why is my blood still not ok?

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by Cindy at 2/2/2010 6:37 AM
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Add another to the list. I've been donating blood for over 30 years. Didn't donate for the last 2 years because of low iron, finally get it normal and ...wham ... oh, uh, you are permanently deferred because you served in Germany over 30 years ago. Unbelievable. Why can't they test for this? That's a whole lot of people that can't give blood anymore.

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by sandy at 2/21/2010 6:59 PM
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My sister died at 34 and wanted to donate organs - she couldn't because she was stationed in germany in 1989-90. Why? Mad cow? Must be something more going on?

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by Charles Buchanan at 3/4/2010 9:40 AM
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Ahhh yes like everyone else I was stationed in Germany from 89-92. When I got back I started to give blood on a regular basis. O-negative CMV negative to boot. I gave over 3 gallons till one day poof you were stationed in Germany can't give blood anymore. I wrote a letter to the FDA and they gave me a line of bull that it stays dormant for 20 years can't test for it blah blah blah. Well I have been back for almost 20 years get a yealry physical and guess what no MAD COW. COME ON FDA you are killing more people by not letting all of us donate that you would if you did.

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by Julia at 3/24/2010 6:51 AM
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I don't get why it would affect the blood, especially after reading into the actual 'mad cow disease' and seieng how those who have it die in a year or less. Not only that but I was born in Germany in 1986, since my father was stationed there, and ever since I tried to donate my blood in high school I was denied with a simple 'mad cow scare' explanation. They couldn't tell me how a baby that can't eat meat and a mother that lived off of IV's, how I would be exposed especially only being there for a short time.

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by hotmess at 4/27/2010 10:27 AM
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I'm so upset too! i went to donate blood today n the school and they didnt let me because i lived in europe more than 5 years well im born in Albania (eastern europe, Balkans) thats so dumbbb!! and theres no such a diseases bc if europeans had those diseases we care more about ourselves to not have those diseases... pff

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by Tom C at 5/27/2010 7:28 AM
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I feel the same way, I really wanted to give today. I read the sign at the door "have you lived in Europe or Canada in the past year." No I haven't, but when they get down to the REAL questions, have you lived in Europe between "1980 and 1990", well yes.....I was stationed there from 1985 to 1987..........too bad.......you might have "hoof-in-mouth" disease or "Mad Bull***t" disease, you can't give INDEFINATELY! But.....if I'm in the military stationed in Afghanistan, Iraq or some other gaud-awful place, then everything is peachy and I can give til I'm dry, just not Europe between 1980 and 1990. And what happens when they can't collect blood any longer because of all the diseases in the world, do accident victims just die, because there isn't any "clean" blood?

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by Tom C at 5/27/2010 7:43 AM
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You have to check out this site, only one of MANY!

http://www.drday.com/madcow.htm

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by george at 5/27/2010 1:03 PM
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Seriously...I was stationed in WestGerm for 2.5 yrs. 84-87. To me, it has more to do with Chernobyl than the food. I tried to donate blood and was told that soldiers food was from England. It didn't add up. Chernobyl, I believe, is the real reason. The RAD cloud hung over Europe for MONTHS. Plus flying around @ altitude didn't help any. That is my belief.

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by Brad C. at 6/20/2010 4:44 PM
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Used to donate for years, then one day I am disqualified due to living in Germany and working for the Department of Defense in 1988-90. I think if I was in contact with Mad Cow disease, I would have gone crazy and died by now. I also think there is something mooooooooooooooooooooooo-re to it.

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by MELISSA CLAYTON at 7/7/2010 9:33 AM
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I was born in Germany in 1982 and did reside there for many years after. I was told that I couldn't give blood due to this disease, but not because I was exposed to it, but because the tests to detect if we have it are too expensive!! This ban is ridiculous. Not to mention the facts that gay people can't donate. Why? Shouldn't they check for HIV anyway.

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by Robert B. at 8/31/2010 1:10 PM
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The reason for this ban is mostly because when HIV came out, the Red Cross listened to arguments like these, acted very slowly, and a bunch of people died of AIDS as a result. The Red Cross was held financially and morally responsible. Now, they have a new disease. Laboratory tests show that it can be transmitted by blood. The only other prion disease in humans can remain dormant for decades. And contrary to the posts above, there is no approved test for the prions that cause vCJD (the real name for "Mad Cow Disease." There are a few in the works, but nothing that has been approved as reliable. So yes, it sucks when we're not allowed to give blood, but they have to cover themselves and protect the people on the other end of the needle.

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by Oscar at 10/14/2010 2:56 AM
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To the previous poster. Did you lie about living in Europe? According to everything I've read on the web, these blood donor restricitons are still in effect.

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by Marcia at 10/17/2010 6:25 AM
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I to have given blood for years. I went to donate the other day and they even wanted me to give platellets but when we got to the living abroad question I to was told I would permanently be deferred because as a dependent I accompanied by husband to germany from 84-86. I have given continuously since 86 with no problem until last week. It's been 24 yrs folks - believe I would have been a goner by now! I also am livid that we were never briefed by the gov't about any potential problems....

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by Kate at 10/19/2010 2:49 AM
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I find if unfair! I mean, i had to move to Italy when i was 10, and now that im 17 i cant give blood! SO UNFAIR! I mean, what happens if you know someone and they need your kiddey or something and you are the right doner, can i not help with that either? Or what do you do if your blood type is rare? i say that you have to wait 5 years, then after that you can, but never is dumb!

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by Irena at 10/22/2010 5:01 AM
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I am glad that I am not the only one who is so upset about this. One of my coworkers got very sick and ended up in a hospital. He needs blood, about 2 pints every day, so we at work decided to help by donating our blood to his name. Although our blood may not be the exact match he would still get a "credit" for the blood that we donated. I was born in Eastern Europe and lived there until 1991, and therefore I was turned down. I consider myself a healthy person and this made me feel like I am not worthy. I was very sad that I was unable to help. This is ridiculous.

# re: Been to Western Europe? Then you can't give blood!

Left by Bahram at 10/24/2010 2:46 AM
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Red Cross story in the US is very sad! I have no idea from where they got these rules. I wanted to donate blood today and they said I need to be a US resident for at least 5 years! I was in Australia before 2009 and I donated several times and they never asked those dumb questions. RED CROSS is an international organization and I have no idea why it is like this here in the US. Everything is kind of weird here. Hopefully, one day they change these ... rules and try to be more like the rest of the world at least about these kinds of activities.

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