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Restrictions eased on giving blood

Blood donation (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Giving blood will be easier for donors after some restrictions were eased, according to the Bermuda Hospitals Board.

Bermuda’s blood donor centre, which used to require a 12-month deferral for certain activities, has cut the wait to three months because of improved testing.

The delay applies to people who have had tattoos or microblading; travellers to malaria countries; men who have sex with other men, or their female sexual partners, and anyone who has received money, drugs or other payment for sex.

The three-month wait also applies to people who have been exposed to allergenic tissue through transplant or transfusions; who have had contact with an open wound, non-intact skin, blood from another person, or a sharp injury from an instrument used on another person, and people treated for syphilis or gonorrhoea.

But restrictions involving Britain, in place after the Mad Cow Disease scare of the 1990s, which can cause Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease in humans, remain in effect.

Anyone who spent a cumulative three or more months in the UK between January 1, 1980 and December 31, 1996 remains barred from donating for safety reasons.

Additionally, anyone who has had a blood transfusion in the UK, Ireland or France from January 1, 1980 cannot donate.

Other criteria for Ireland and France have changed, and a ban on donating blood now applies to people who spent a cumulative five or more years in those countries between January 1, 1980 and December 31, 2001.

But people who have spent time in most other European countries, including Portugal and the Azores, are now permitted to donate.

Prison inmates remain barred from donating blood, in accordance with US standards

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Published July 06, 2021 at 7:53 am (Updated July 06, 2021 at 7:53 am)

Restrictions eased on giving blood

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