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I guess what bothers me is , don't they test the blood no matter what before giving it away? What if people lie or forget? What if some crazy with aids or hep wants to spread his or her stuff and just lies?

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I guess what bothers me is , don't they test the blood no matter what before giving it away? What if people lie or forget? What if some crazy with aids or hep wants to spread his or her stuff and just lies?

 

 

Yes- they always test the blood. In part for people who lie, in part for people who don't know.

 

But by defering the people who are high risk (though I question if a 5 hour visit with no symptoms really makes you high risk...) it saves them resources of testing it and possible false negatives by not collecting the blood in the first place.

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I am traveling in March and just checked at my donation center. There is still a one year deferral if you travel to Belize. :( I did not see a deferral for Cozumel or Belize City. This is always changing. If you can donate, be sure to do so before you leave.

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If you can donate, be sure to do so before you leave.

 

Have not been able to Donate on 12 years as my travel takes me to places on the list. Too bad they cannot better test, I sure hope they do not just take peoples word for it that they cannot have Malaria or other disease

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I am going to Roatan in Mar 2015. I thought I would be deferred for a year. When I checked with the blood bank, they told me no. The FDA regs state that you have to be in the country affected for more than 24 hours. So only being there for 8 hours is not a deferral. Here is the document from the FDA if people would like to question their blood bank. Look at definitions on page 4 "Travel to a malaria-endemic area".

 

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/BiologicsBloodVaccines/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/Blood/UCM080784.pdf

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Thank you for this thread. Knowing I was going to Roatan next month and then would be deferred a year pushed me past my phobia and yesterday I donated for the first time in over ten years.

 

However, at least the local blood bank in central Texas told me that you have to be there for 24 hours to be deferred, just as the previous poster noted. Please check with your local blood bank. You may not have to wait! I'm sorry I was too intimidated to donate the last ten years, but it was easy and fine for me yesterday.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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My husband was able to donate yesterday at the local Red Cross blood drive. They told him he had to be in the country for 24 hrs for it to count against him.

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My husband was able to donate yesterday at the local Red Cross blood drive. They told him he had to be in the country for 24 hrs for it to count against him.

 

According the Red Cross there is nothing about 24 hours, the rules are simple , •Wait 12 months after returning from a trip to an area where malaria is found.... Sounds like the people working the drive did not know the rules and now who knows how many may be at risk or if someone with immune issues may get tainted blood and get sicker or worse.

 

 

http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/eligibility-requirements/eligibility-criteria-alphabetical-listing

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The rules have changed to include the 24 hour exception, at least at some donation areas.

 

See for example http://www.giveblood.org/faq.aspx

 

"I have traveled outside the U.S.

NEW! Visiting a malaria-risk area for less than 24 hours (such as on a cruise) is now acceptable and will not defer you from donating. Expand this FAQ for details. "

 

If you want to donate blood, please continue to be completely honest when you fill out the questionnaire at your local donation center. You could always try to call your local center ahead of time, too, to verify eligibility.

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It`s true in Tennessee and across the country as far as I know. Less than 24 hours in an port and you`re good to go! I was surprised at the change, but glad, as I`ve not donated in 5 years due to cruzing to endemic areas.

-

Funny though...mosquitos don`t wear watches. You could get bit in 5 minutes off the ship by a bad boy...who knows?

give-blood-save-life-blood-champaign-logo-design.jpg

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This is not current (10 or so years ago) but sort of funny:

 

When going to donate blood, we had to fill out a form stating to which countries we had traveled in the past year.

 

I wrote Honduras on mine.

DH wrote Roatan on his.

They allowed him to give blood ... but would not allow me to.!

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I just tried to donate at our local blood bank in north Texas and they deferred me for 12 months because we had been to Roatan in February 2016, even though we stayed less than 24 hours. It was because of malaria. I guess each blood center is different. This one is headquartered in Oklahoma even though they have branches in Texas.

Edited by hawk1972

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I was able to donate in Louisiana when I told them I visited Roatan in April 2016.

 

Same here. I donated at a hospital in the New Orleans area last year with no problem. They said as long as we were there just for the day, it was fine.

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My husband and I are leaving on a cruise that includes Roatan on Saturday. I have emailed our Blood Center to ask them if we are going to be deferred. I will post the answer.

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Wow, I'm super late to this thready, but since I work for a blood center in Houston, I have lots of answers for you guys. :)

 

Yes, the rules changed a couple years ago (early 2015 I believe). If you are in a region less than 24 hours, you are permitted by the FDA and CDC to donate blood. This was a wonderful change. It is all about mitigating risk. Blood is still tested before being transfused to a patient and every caution is taken, but the number of donors deferred was huge. If you flew somewhere and had a layover in a country with malaria, you were out for a year! If you took a cruise, you're out for a year! True that mosquitos don't wear watches and you could still POSSIBLY get malaria, but it is incredibly unlikely.

 

So, cruisers no longer have to worry about their travel impacting blood donations due to MALARIA. Be sure to tell them you were there less than 24 hours. But, over the past summer as everyone heard, there were major problems with Zika virus and anyone who had traveled to a region with Zika was not able to donate. They were even looking at restrictions in the U.S. near zip codes where zika was contracted. All blood collections were shut down in Puerto Rico. It didn't matter if you were there 24 hours or not - that was a malaria rule, not a Zika rule.

 

Fortunately, we now have a test and are screening blood for Zika Virus as well, so that should not be a problem again unless we start to see a major outbreak in the US. Then they may re-evaluate. The rules area always changing! As of this moment, we are back to no deferral for less than 24 hours visit.

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Snip

 

Thanks for the great info. I've been deferred in the past for Labadee and Cozumel (I've also been allowed to give after going there, I guess the CDC level changes from time to time). So it'll be nice to at least know that I won't be deferred.

 

Any idea if they will change the question from "Have you been outside of the US?" to "Have you been in any country besides the US for more than 24 hours?" It take longer for me to give them my list of countries than it takes me to actually fill up the bag.

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Because I saw this I thought I’d mention:

one blood (Florida) has you mark if you’ve left the country (probably in a certain period of time, i pretty much always have to mark yes lol) and then the person asks if it was for 24 hours or more.

This could always change in the future.

 

My latest visit to Roatan was on a 3/12/17 cruise and I’ve (only :/) donated twice since then.

 

So please don’t let a cruise discourage you from trying! My understanding is that anything that isn’t specified I certain questions is a 24 hour rule (I’m not even sure if 24 hours disqualifies you as I’ve never been in a port that long).

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I'm a regular blood donor, and the last 2 times when I mentioned Honduras, they asked a bunch of questions and since I was on a cruise and spent less than 24 hrs there, I was able to donate. (Last donation was in October. Prior to this, I was always differed)

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Yes, I am a regular double red or  platelet donor.   Sure it takes additional time each time to document that the ports we visited will not prevent me from donating, but most indications are that if we are only day visitors in the ports themselves, we can still donate.   I have cruised the Mexican Riviera, Eastern and Western Caribbean.  I always bring the cruise itineraries with me along with looking up any applicable states in the countries that the ports are located in to facilitate the screening process for one year after each sailing.

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