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[IP] Re: Blood donating redux

A couple of things:

If you're interested in donating, find out whether there are
regulations in your state barring diabetics from donating. If 
not, look for a blood bank that accepts donations from diabetics. 
For example, in California, Blood Centers of the Pacific will 
accept blood donations from diabetics.

It's true that not everyone who has diabetes should donate
blood -- just as it's true that not everyone who *doesn't* have 
diabetes should donate blood.  However, everyone who tries to 
donate is given a health screening, which includes questions 
about sexual history, injectable drug-use history, what med-
ications you take, what countries you've traveled to recently, 
and a lot of other things that could affect whether or not your 
blood would be safe to use. It also includes tests of blood pressure, 
heartbeat, and hemoglobin level.  This screening should eliminate 
any diabetic who really isn't healthy enough to donate safely -- 
or one who is on medications that would keep the blood from being 
safe to use.

Bottom line: if you don't try to donate, you won't know whether 
they'll take your blood. Of course, if you don't want to donate 
because you feel that you have enough sharp objects stuck into 
you on a regular basis, I certainly understand. And if you know 
that there's a *good* reason that the donation won't be accepted, 
there's no reason to go, only to get turned down.

And, not to get maudlin or anything, but when I hear people with 
diabetes talking about how much they want to be allowed to give 
blood, it makes me feel really hopeful about people. The idea that 
people who have a lot to deal with in their own lives are still trying 
to give what they can to others who are in need -- it makes me feel 
proud. I think that's why I get so angry about the regulations and 
policies against people with diabetes giving blood.

/Janet L.

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