Will the Red Cross near you take your Blood if you have Chronic Lyme Disease?

So far after investigating several states on the Red Cross Site, we have found only Ohio saying donating blood with lyme diseasethat Chronic Lyme Disease is a deterrent from donating blood. We sent them an email asking if this was an over sight and the websites just needed to be updated and here is the response we got back from The Red Cross:

“Dear Lisa Hilton,
Thank you for contacting the American Red Cross. We appreciate your time and willingness to keep our blood supply at a safe level by wanting to donate at one of our collection sites. In regards to your question and the information you provided donors who have chronic Lyme disease and are constantly showing symptoms they are not eligible to donate until they are fully recovered, symptom free and have completed their course of treatment. In regards to  chronic Lyme disease, different blood banks do have different requirements concerning  eligibility criteria for  blood donors.

If you have any other questions or concerns please feel free to contact us by replying back to this email or by calling 1-866-236-3276. Have a great day and once again thank you for taking the time to contact us.

Thank you,
Scherrie Campbell
DCSC Eligibility Specialist
American Red Cross
Donor and Client Support Center
9013 Perimeter Woods Drive, Suite J
Charlotte, NC 28216 (866) 236-3276 (toll free)
(888) 719-3535 (f)
Scherrie.Campbell@redcross.org ”

Hmmm, does our next Lyme rally have to be at the Red Cross center? Should we do an emailing campaign to ask them to change the guildeilnes in every state? I mean if it is dangerous to donate blood if you have chronic Lyme in Ohio, woulnd’t it be so everywhere?

Or maybe it’s the FDA we need to contact, since he FDA is actually the agency that sets the testing requirements for blood products. The Red Cross is a company that collects, tests, manufacturers, and distributes blood products following FDA guidelines and other accrediting agencies, such as AABB. So how do we approach this? Please add your ideas in the comment section below.
From the FDA Site:
“FDA is responsible for ensuring the safety of the Nation’s blood supply. While a blood supply with zero risk of transmitting infectious disease may not be possible, there are several measures taken by FDA to protect and enhance the safety of blood products.”
http://www.fda.gov/biologicsbloodvaccines/bloodbloodproducts/questionsaboutblood/default.htm

Here are some examples of what each states guidelines are:

Alabama:
http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/eligibility-requirements/eligibility-criteria-alphabetical-listing
Regarding infections: Only Babesia discludes you. No mention of Lyme disease.
Contact Red Cross Here

Minnesota:
Babesia is a deterrent but Lyme disease is not mentioned.
See Eligibility Requirments Here
Contact Red Cross Here

New York:
Babesia is a deterrent but Lyme disease is not mentioned.
See Eligibility Requirments Here
Contact Red Cross Here

Ohio:
Regarding Lyme Disease: “Lyme Disease Accept persons with Lyme disease if they were treated, the disease resolved and at least 1 year has passed. Those with chronic Lyme disease are not eligible to donate blood.” Click here to read more from the American Red Cross
Click Here for Eligibility Requirments
Contact Red Cross Here

South Dakota:
Babesia is a deterrent but Lyme disease is not mentioned.
Click Here for Eligibility Requirments
Contact Red Cross Here

Texas:
http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/eligibility-requirements/eligibility-criteria-topic
Regarding Infections: Only Babesia di No mention of Lyme Disease.
Contact Red Cross Here

Utah:
Utahs Red Cross Page
B
abesia is listed as a deterrent but Lyme disease is not mentioned.
Contact Red Cross Here

Wisconsin:
http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/eligibility-requirements/eligibility-criteria-alphabetical-listing
Regarding Infections: If you have a fever or an active infection, wait until the infection has resolved completely before donating blood. Wait until finished taking antibiotics for an infection (bacterial or viral). Wait 10 days after the last antibiotic injection for an infection. Those who have had infections with Chagas Disease or Babesiosis are not eligible to donate.
Regarding Chronic Illnesses: Most chronic illnesses are acceptable as long as you feel well, the condition is under control, and you meet all other eligibility requirements.
Contact Red Cross Here

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