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07/23/01 06:58 PM
07/23/01 06:58 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 9
sabby Offline OP
sabby  Offline OP
FYI for those good Samaritans out there who like to donate blood....
My hubby and I were just deferred from donating blood for 1 year because we traveled in Belize and took a couple of tours into the rain forest. My understanding was that if we hadn't done the rain forest thing, we would have been OK. The Red Cross understandably is very careful about the blood supply, just wanted to save someone the time and effort of trying to donate when, in fact, we were turned down. Bummer!

07/23/01 08:41 PM
07/23/01 08:41 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Asheville, NC USA
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Lan Sluder/Belize First  Offline
As I understand it, only about 60% of the population is eligible to donate blood, and that percentage is falling.

For example, anyone who has visited Great Britain between 1980 and 1996 cannot give blood, nor can those who have gotten tattoos.

Probably the reason you were told you could not give blood is that you were thought to have visited a malaria endemmic area.

Unfortunately, not all American Red Cross workers or other blood donation centers are up on all of the facts about areas outside the U.S.

For example, recently I have heard of people who visited Playa del Carmen and Cozumel being turned down because they had supposedly been in a malaria area.

While malaria is present in Belize, outside of remote bush areas especially in the south, most sophisticated medical people would probably not call it a malaria endemic area. I'd urge you to go back to your blood donation center and discuss with someone of authority whether in fact the specific area you visited was sufficient to keep you from donating.

--Lan Sluder

Lan Sluder/Belize First
07/24/01 01:10 AM
07/24/01 01:10 AM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 4,262
St Louis, Mo., USA/San Pedro
Laguna Punta Offline
Laguna Punta  Offline
Last year, prior to my trip to Belize, I gave blood for a loved one. When I told them that I was on my way to Belize, they looked up in their chart that I couldn't give blood for 13 month after my return. I told them that I was going to San Pedro and that it was a civilized area and was told the chart said Rainforest (rural) and cayes. Thinking about it, Belize City would be the only place that one could give blood. I'm not a doctor, but Belize City seems to be the most dangerous place to pick-up communicable diseases. I'm really not sure if anyone will knowingly make an exception and I'm not sure they should. I'm not particularly fond of giving blood anyway.

Gone fishing!!
07/24/01 08:09 AM
07/24/01 08:09 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 146
Philly, PA
aqtpie2 Offline
aqtpie2  Offline
My sister had the same thing happen to her. We were in Belize in November and they told her she could not donate blood since she went further than Belize City. We thought that odd too, but...

07/24/01 09:54 PM
07/24/01 09:54 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 222
Culpeper VA
patrick-e Offline
patrick-e  Offline
Last year, we visited Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Shortly thereafter, I attempted to give blood. I was refused because we visited Coba, a Mayan temple site in the interior, not because we visited Cancun or Playa del Carmen. The Red Cross was concerned with the possibility that I might have been exposed to Malaria. With all the health problem around today, the Red Cross must be very careful in accepting donated blood.

[This message has been edited by patrick-e (edited 07-24-2001).]

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