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The Question of Donating Blood

There has been much ethical debate concerning people with CIND conditions donating blood.  CFS falls under the CDC's Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, yet there is not sufficient solid, published, accepted evidence for CDC or the blood banks to ban PWCINDs from donating blood.

The American Red Cross has said, "A donor who has had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in the past is eligible to give blood based on that criteria.  If CFS is still active, they are not eligible to give."  Yet we know there is no cure for CFS.

If there is a possibility that the blood supply could be contaminated, do we remain silent?  Several medical opinions clearly state that blood should not be donated.  However, the CDC provides no definitive answer.

From the CDC:  "More than 100 additional HHV-6 strains have been isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of . . . patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). . ."

Click here to see a replica of the late Joan Irvine's web page on "The Blood Letters", in which the following statements are made:

William C. Reeves, MD, CDC ". . . since ongoing research indicates an infectious agent may be involved in some cases of CFS it would seem prudent to refrain from donating blood until this issue is resolved."

George W. Sutherford, MD, Chief, Infectious Disease Branch, State of California Dept. of Health Services "On purely clinical grounds, I would discourage individuals who are not in good health [people with any CIND illness], including those with CFS, from donating blood . . . I think that it is best to await further research findings before resuming blood donation."


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Most recent revision Wednesday September 11, 2002