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UK bans ME/CFS blood donations as of November 1, 2010 – Department of Health announces

  [ 17 votes ]   [ 2 Comments ] • August 27, 2010

The ME Association ( posted the following on Friday, Aug 27

The Department of Health has decided to ban blood donation permanently from all prospective donors in the UK who report they have had ME/CFS from 1 November this year. The decision was announced in an email sent to The ME Association today by the Department's Director of Health Protection.

In a brief email, Clara Swinson writes:

"As of 1st November 2010, blood donors who report that they have had ME/CFS will be permanently excluded from giving blood in the UK. This change is being made on the grounds of donor safety, as ME/CFS is a relapsing condition. It brings practice for ME/CFS into line with other relapsing conditions or neurological conditions of unknown origin.

"The change to donor selection criteria is being made following a recommendation by the UK Blood Services Standing Advisory Committee on the Care and Selection of Donors, and Joint Professional Advisory Committee (JPAC)."

The announcement has already been welcomed by contributors to ME/CFS internet forums around the world as further indication that the physical nature of the illness is being taken ever more seriously. Clara Swinson's email does not reveal the extent to which studies into the XRMV virus figured in Department of Health's thinking.

Below, we publish the correspondence with the ME Association which led to today's announcement.

(To read more go to news )

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Article Comments Post a Comment

why wait until November?
Posted by: Sandy10m
Sep 2, 2010
Why are they waiting until November to implement the ban? If they are that concerned about our health (and the safety of the blood supply) to institute the ban, why wait? It's a simple matter to ask the question when screening their blood donors. It's the right policy (I gave up blood donation years ago because I instinctively knew it was the right thing), but the wrong timing.
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Blood donors with ME
Posted by: Defor
Oct 22, 2010
Think they changed their minds as BBC news announced that people with ME are not allowed to donate blood or organs on the early news a few weeks ago. They say that is because it might cause a relapse in ME patients....huh!!!! If this is 'all in our head' how come they don't want our blood? I read that the virus they are finding in ME people can sometimes be passed by blood transfusions...of which I have had many!!!! Food for thought methinks!!!! Cheers, Defor
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