11-10-2014, 03:41 PM   #1
dgiouz's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: montreal, canada

My Support Groups:
No blood donation?

I've been in remission for a couple of months now and I wanted to give blood but apparently when on immunosuppressants you're not aloud?

I live in Canada so either way if you have crohns they don't let you donate ''for your own good''

but I'm a universal donor so I would want to help out people in need. -- I was wondering if there's any way around this ''for your own good'' nonsense. I think I know what's good for me and what's not, if I want to donate I will. I feel perfectly healthy, and I am. As long as I'm not harming anyone...

Cause in the end, there's nothing wrong with our blood. right? People can't ''catch'' crohns through our blood, it's not contagious... but maybe the meds would cause a problem since it's flowing through our blood. I take remicade every 8 weeks. So I understand if they refuse me because of the meds

Coming from crohns struggles, I think we all know a little help here and there goes a very long way for someone somewhere. I just want to help
11-10-2014, 07:06 PM   #2
Forum Monitor
DJW's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Ontario

My Support Groups:
I've tried several times over the years but wasn't permitted. They told me because crohns patients are prone to losing blood we need every drop we have.
Crohn's Disease
DX 1978 (12 yrs old)
Ileostomy at 19

Visit Crohn's and Colitis Canada:

Living in Ontario with no drug benefits?

Trillium Drug Program:

11-11-2014, 05:01 AM   #3
Super Moderator
DustyKat's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: New South Wales, Australia
In Australia it is not specifically IBD that precludes you from donating blood, it is the medication.

Australian Red Cross Blood Service does accept donors with IBD to donate provided they are well and off immunosuppressive medication for a minimum of 4 weeks. The Australian Red Cross Blood service is only able to use the plasma component of the donation for transfusion purposes. Donors presenting to donate are in most circumstances referred to the duty Medical Officer, in order to assess whether they are suitable
Mum of 2 kids with Crohn's.
11-11-2014, 10:12 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Halifax, NS, Canada

My Support Groups:
Couple of thoughts. IBD is a chronic, incurable, recurring illness... and medical science isn't sure what 'causes' it. Are we contagious, infectious... well, not in the sense that you can transmit it from typical contact. If it IS from something like TB... say MAP just for argument sake... then the bacteria can hide inside an otherwise healthy looking cell.

So, there may be some transmission of the disease via bodily fluids... like blood transfusion. Or breast milk. I doubt that it could be transmitted sexually, there are no reported cases of it ever happening... perhaps because the associated cells are amongst the smallest in the body.. if not THE smallest. Thing is... if science doesn't know for sure what causes it... they would most likely want to err on the side of caution. And I've read that searching for MAP (if even that was the 'cause') is extremely difficult to detect. And it may fall outside the range of what blood collection services 'screen' for. Add to that we've got this hodge podge of chemicals floating around inside us... Like, I've read that 'metho' (methotrexate) is readily passed via a variety of bodily fluids... more than HIV/AIDs even. (it is a chemical, not a bacteria or virus). So, to a potential recipient, we could be 'toxic'.

From our end... sometimes we don't realize how 'sick' we are. We get accustomed to the way we feel. For instance, back in 06, as an indirect result of my disease, I was anemic. I didn't know how anemic... I felt weak as a kitten.. had no energy, no stamina. But when they 'tested' me... even the doctors weren't prepared for my lab results. Normal counts are supposed to be somewhere between 160 - 240. My tests read at 24. They were so low, they thought it was a mistake... so they re-tested.. drew more blood. Second tests confirmed the 1st. In order to combat this, I was put on these iron supplements that were an absolute nightmare... felt like getting kicked in the stomach after taking them.. Took me 11 months to get my numbers back up into the low 100's. The improvement was so gradual that I didn't notice the change... except in retrospect. Now, here I am, my iron levels are again in the toilet... and I have to again take iron supplements, but at least this time they aren't knocking the stuffing out of me. I just hope it won't take so long to get back into the 'healthy range'. My point? Like a lot of folks with this disease, what we come to accept as 'normal' for us... puts us in a precarious state health wise. A healthy person can donate blood, and they bounce back within a month or so.. but 'us'?

All in all, with the risk to us, the possible risk to the recipient, it may be more trouble than it is worth. But, go to a clinic, tell them what you have, what you take, see what they say. They may decide that they can use your donation for blood products anyway, even if they can't take the risk on your whole blood.

The bottom line is... even when we are feeling great, we still have an incurable disease.

Dx'd July, 2006
Meds: Flagyl, Cipro, Pred, AZA.. to no effect
Low Dose Naltrexone Nov 2007 - May 2014
Remicade June 17th, 2014
11-11-2014, 04:28 PM   #5
Cross-stitch gal
Cross-stitch gal's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Vancouver, Washington

My Support Groups:
I have 2 things against me on why I can't give blood.

1. I don't weigh enough. In fact, I'm underweight even for my age body type.

2. The medications I'm on are seen as asprin type and are mentioned on the list saying I can't give blood if I'm on them.

However, my husband does give blood. He's B+ and gives regularly.
Ulcerative Colitis/IBD 1996, Iritis 2001, Ulcerative Proctitis 2013, Indeterminate Colitis 2016, Remission 2017, Hand Eczema

Current Meds:
Pentasa 1000mg 2xday or Mesalamine DR 1.2gm 2xday, Canasa Suppositories (when needed) 1000mg 1xday, Tylenol 3 with codeine 300-30mg (when needed)

600+D Calcium 2xday, Multivitamin, 65mg Iron 1xday, Fish Oil 1000mg, Vitamin D3 5,000 I.U., Eye Drops 2xday

UP Support Group http://www.crohnsforum.com/showthread.php?t=68350
11-11-2014, 08:07 PM   #6
valleysangel92's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: United Kingdom

My Support Groups:
In the UK we are not allowed to give blood with IBD, even people in remission and off medications. It might partly be because of our vulnerability to anemia, plus the meds we take can have all sorts of effects on our white blood cells and our platelets, leaving us vulnerable to infection and clotting difficulties.

Although you may feel well, you cannot know what kind of effect removing a pint of blood would have on your over all wellbeing. That could be biologically traumatic enough to trigger a flare. From the medical point of view that's not a risk that's really worth taking.

coeliac disease/Osteopenia /Crohns/Arthritis/
laperoscopic hemicolectomy 25/06/ 2013

Meds- Vedolizumab, pentasa, Lansoprazole, Vitamin D, prochlorperazine, Oramorph, MST, B12 shots My journey with crohns: http://glutenfreecookiemonster.wordpress.com/

Allergic to - inflectra, aza

Non CD meds - Gabapentin, paracetamol, ventolin
11-13-2014, 04:43 AM   #7
Senior Member
Becca1991's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Here in New Zealand I guess you can't give blood as no one knows the cause of Inflammatory bowel disease. This what it says on our blood donation website:

Crohn's Disease- I have crohn's disease. Can I donate?
It will not be possible for you to give blood donations if you have Crohn's Disease. The cause of this condition is not yet certain and giving blood may adversely affect your health.

Ulcerative colitis I have ulcerative colitis. Can I donate?
You will not be able to donate blood if you have ulcerative colitis
Dx Terminal Ileitis Oct 09 (Age 17)
6/6/12- 12/6/12: Mini flare but gastro doc put it down to stomach bug
2/2/15-?: Mini flare awaiting calprotection levels. Calprotection levels: normal

Current Meds
Azathioprine 50mg
Allopurinol 100mg

Been on
Azathioprine 50mg x3
Humira April-August 2010
Prednisone October 2009-July 2010
Folic Acid
Multi Vitamins
Calcium 2500g
Vitamin D
Ranitadine 2x 150mg
B12 injection
Ciprofloxacin 500mg
11-15-2014, 09:43 PM   #8
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Missouri

My Support Groups:
I, too, have tried to give blood and been turned down. The first time because I was anemic, and the second time, because of the Crohn's itself. I don't think it's specifically tied to the medications you're taking, at least in the US, because they didn't ask about my medications once they found out about the Crohn's. It was a no-go after that. They didn't give me any solid reason for it, though.
11-15-2014, 10:26 PM   #9
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Burlington Ontario

My Support Groups:
We also can't donate bone marrow. I was on the list years ago as a donor. Several years after my Crohns diagnosis I received letter from the Bone Marrow registry. They must cross reference their lists with the Region of Health. They kindly thanked me for my efforts but explained they wouldn't ever be able to use my bone marrow or blood donation for any patients. I understood their reasoning , but felt sad that I couldn't help these worthwhile causes, while I was in remission. I get it though, now that I'm out of remission....

Thread Tools

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:34 AM.
Copyright 2006-2017 Crohnsforum.com