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OliverB

I was denied to donate blood because I have a mental illness

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No, it's not because of the meds, it's because of the diagnosis.

It's discrimination.

 

I am mad

Edited by OliverB
  • Confused 1

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This was the only thing I found on blood donation deferment due to mental illness

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK138205/#_ch5_s28_

It says they accept people with anxiety or mood disorders if they aren't symptomatic that day, but deny people with psychotic illnesses on maintenance treatment.

i would be denied also, if that is the case.

i had never heard of that qualification before.

i do think it is discrimination. It isn't contagious.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, confused said:

This was the only thing I found on blood donation deferment due to mental illness

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK138205/#_ch5_s28_

It says they accept people with anxiety or mood disorders if they aren't symptomatic that day, but deny people with psychotic illnesses on maintenance treatment.

i would be denied also, if that is the case.

i had never heard of that qualification before.

i do think it is discrimination. It isn't contagious.

 

 

 

Yeah, It's unfair, extremely unfair. I am going to ask my pdoc to write a note saying even if I have a mental illness, mentally I can deal with the stress of donating blood. If they still don't allow me to donate I am going to fill a complain form.

 

Here it's more unfair since you can't donate if you have any mental illness, even if it's just social phobia.

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4 hours ago, OliverB said:

No, it's not because of the meds, it's because of the diagnosis.

It's discrimination.

 

I am mad

I don't see why you can't donate blood based on a diagnosis.  That is crazy.  What do the people drawing the blood think you'll do?

 

Same thing happened to me but with being on The Bone Marrow registry ... because of my diagnosis and (I think) a couple of questionable meds, I was denied.  But it was mainly my diagnosis also.

Right ... it is total discrimination ... they said something to the fact that they wanted to make sure (people with MI) wouldn't back out or freak out by what has to be done to donate the bone marrow.  It wasn't in those words, but it meant it.

 

 

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OMG this is nuts. Like someone will "catch your contagious anxiety"... so much stigma against mental illness it makes me sick.

Are they worried you will go psychotic or something when giving the blood (and then maybe sue them for it?) i just don't know what to think.

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Whaaaaa?

This is stupidity at it's best.  I would go to a different donor and file a discrimination suit.  They will get shut down really quick.

Stuff like this makes me angry.  THey have no right to deny you.  That's beyond idiotic!

Edited by whatsizbucket

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According to the published Red Cross rules for donation no psychiatric meds are denied, few meds are in general. The only place I see anything that might pertain to mental illness is under "Chronic Illnesses" 

Quote

Most chronic illnesses are acceptable as long as you feel well, the condition is under control, and you meet all other eligibility requirements.

So people in the acute stage of their mental illness could be denied.

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I was denied donating plasma once because of taking 2mg x 2 daily of clonazepam. And secondly because of being bipolar. He didn't even ask me to get a note from the pdoc, he jsut said no, sorry. 

Do they think we'll freak out and rip our our needle or something? Too much stigma. Unless you're psychotic, (which people I think would be able to tell), then I doubt anything crazy would happen.

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On 11/13/2016 at 0:05 PM, OliverB said:

I am going to talk with my pdoc about this, definitely.

Have you talked about your pdoc about this?  Interested in what s/he has to say about it.

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On 23/12/2016 at 1:15 AM, melissaw72 said:

Have you talked about your pdoc about this?  Interested in what s/he has to say about it.

He said he had no idea about it.

I asked the psych nurse and she said she would check it because she didn't know either but  she never told me anything.

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I just don't bother donating despite having O+ blood. I'm pretty sure I'd be disqualified due to the meds I'm on anyways, and even if that isn't true, I'm not a fan of needles and don't think it's a wise idea to force my body to have to regenerate that much blood while it's being stressed by these meds. I like the idea of donating blood and want to do it, but every time I've looked into it it seems that it's just not worth it in my case. If there was an acute blood shortage I'd try to donate despite my concerns, but like I said I'm pretty sure that they'd disqualify me even then.

Edited by JustNuts

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Given I know people who rely on this as an income source, this is straight-up discrimination, and dangerous at both ends (people not getting money, other people not getting blood).

Tri

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So, the reason has nothing to do with discrimination. It's because plazma donation removes the protein albumin in your blood. Some of your meds are usually attached to the albumin in your blood. So, when you donate it can remove like 30% of your meds from your bloodstream. It's for your own safety and health. You could have psych symptoms or a break. The protein will usually replenish itself in about 48 hours if you are otherwise healthy but not the meds. If you really want to donate, you may be able to get extra med samples to take right after you donate and maybe the next day too. Some centers will let you donate if you get written permission from your Doc. 

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2 hours ago, Grace1 said:

So, the reason has nothing to do with discrimination. It's because plazma donation removes the protein albumin in your blood. Some of your meds are usually attached to the albumin in your blood. So, when you donate it can remove like 30% of your meds from your bloodstream. It's for your own safety and health. You could have psych symptoms or a break. The protein will usually replenish itself in about 48 hours if you are otherwise healthy but not the meds. If you really want to donate, you may be able to get extra med samples to take right after you donate and maybe the next day too. Some centers will let you donate if you get written permission from your Doc. 

Is this ONLY plasma donation, or blood donation, too?

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I got denied today, too. Why? Because I have paranoid schizophrenia, and was told: "Because people with this illness are still seen as a threat to public safety, and because you might become a threat at any time during the procedure, I cannot allow you to donate, per FDA regulations. Your name has to be added to the NDDR. I'm sorry. Please leave." (The guy that was running the screen process quoted the FDA stuff from some large blue binder he had, but he refused to allow me to see the contents of the page he'd read from) Now, I am trying to find anything I can that comes directly from the FDA that can either be used as proof to challenge this ruling, or as proof to back it up. So far, though, I have absolutely nothing either way.

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Raven,

If you take an AP that is highly bound to plasma (which is common) the level of the AP in your blood will drop precipitously, which would be not be good for your illness or you. 

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Posted (edited)

All I could find via some quick google searches:

WHO guidelines:

Accept

Individuals with anxiety disorders or mood (affective) disorders (e.g. depression, bipolar disorder), provided they are generally in good health and are not obviously over-anxious, depressed or manic when seen on the day of donation, regardless of medication

Defer permanently

Individuals with psychotic disorders requiring maintenance treatment

http://www.who.int/bloodsafety/publications/WHOguidelinesblooddonorselectionAnnex3.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK138205/

Interesting federal case against a blood plasma center in Utah (though this deals with selling plasma vs donating blood):

"As part of Octapharma’s donor eligibility determination, Mr. Levorsen 1 was required to undergo a physical examination during which he revealed that he was taking the medication Geodon for borderline schizophrenia disorder....

"Based upon Mr. Levorsen’s disclosure, Octapharma informed him that he would be unable to donate source plasma. The basis for refusal was Octapharma’s assertion that during the donation process Mr. Levorsen might have a schizophrenic episode and “pull the needle collecting blood out of his arm and hurt him-self and/or others.” (doc. 1, ¶16). As a result, Octapharma placed Mr. Levorsen’s name on the “National Donor Deferral Registry” (“NDDR”) thereby marking him as an individual unfit to donate and ensuring his inability to donate plasma at any donation center in the nation.

"On May 23, 2013, Mr. Levorsen provided Octapharma with paperwork from his treating psychiatrist, Dr. Benjamin Thatcher, and from psychiatrist Dr. Christopher Davis. Both doctors agreed that Mr. Levorsen was “medically suitable” to donate plasma two times per week (doc. 1, ¶19). However, despite the psychiatrists’ clearance, Octapharma informed Mr. Levorsen that because of his borderline schizophrenia disorder he would remain on the NDDR. As a result of Octapharma’s actions, Mr. Levorsen remains unable to donate source plasma and has been deprived of the $260.00 monthly income that his plasma donations previously provided (doc.1, ¶21). On April 30, 2014, Mr. Levorsen filed his complaint against Octapharma alleging a variety of claims based on violations of Title III of the ADA and seeking both declaratory and injunctive relief (doc.1, ¶21)."

....

"Based hereon, the court concludes that Octapharma, a plasma donation center, does not qualify as a place of public accommodation as contemplated under the ADA and therefore Octapharma is not subject to 42 U.S.C. § 12182. Accordingly, Octapharma’s Motion To Dismiss is hereby GRANTED (doc. 10)."

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCOURTS-utd-2_14-cv-00325/pdf/USCOURTS-utd-2_14-cv-00325-1.pdf

They appealed and the case was remanded:

"The district court concluded that plasma-donation centers (PDCs) aren’t service establishments because, unlike section 12181(7)(F)’s enumerated examples, PDCs don’t provide a service to the public in exchange for a fee. The Tenth Circuit found this "superficial distinction" irrelevant. Under the plain language of section 12181(7)(F), a PDC was a "'service establishment' for two exceedingly simple reasons: It’s an establishment. And it provides a service." Because the district court erred in concluding otherwise, and in dismissing the underlying action on that basis, the Tenth Circuit reversed and remanded for further proceedings."

https://us10thcircuitcourtofappealsopinions.justia.com/2016/07/12/levorsen-v-octapharma-plasma/

(Very) short article about the case:

https://www.courthousenews.com/schizophrenic-man-has-case-over-donation-ban/

https://www.reuters.com/article/octapharma-plasma-ada/plasma-donor-rejected-for-schizophrenia-can-sue-under-ada-10th-circuit-idUSL1N19Z0BF

Edited by aquarian

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I did not know this, and I am shocked at what that person said to you. Wow, talk about stigma! I'm sorry that you got treated this way, and I wish rules were made on real verifiable facts and not on stigma and fear.

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Posted (edited)

When i updated my health info they took me off the marrow donor list for safety reasons.:

 

Based on the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP) medical guidelines, you would be deferred from donating. Therefore, you have been removed from the registry at this time and your tissue type will no longer be included in patient searches.

 

Both donor and recipient safety are considered in the development of the medical guideline criterion.  Because this is a public, volunteer program, a conservative approach is taken to ensure that there are no health risks to the donor, as well as the recipient.  

Edited by confused

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Hi everyone!

Thanks for taking the time to reply to my original response to this thread. I apologize for not having written back until now; I was busy with other things at the time. Now, I'm not sure how to "tag" any of you, so I'll just list my individual replies here, too. (Okay, never mind. I didn't know that using the @ symbol and then typing a person's screen name would let me respond directly to that person by having the thread literally highlighting their name! *giggles*)

@notloki -- You mentioned whether or not I was taking an anti-psychotic medication. I am currently not using any medications to control my schizophrenia. I keep it under control via writing and having a support network of trained individuals to help me through any problems that may arise. Hell, the donation center only found out that I am schizophrenic due to my having to list what medications I'm allergic to. When I stated that I am allergic to Clozaril\Clozapine, the person conducting my screening process asked me why I'd been on that medication, and I (not knowing at the time that I'd be stuck on the NDDR for my reply) told him that it was used to treat my schizophrenia, but that I was not using any such medications at the time of wanting to donate plasma, nor had I been on them since 2012.

@aquarian -- Thank you for providing the information you generously found for me. I appreciate it. It's adding to my research into this. Maybe nothing will come of this and I'll just have to live with not ever being able to donate blood or plasma, but at least I'll know the disgusting reasons behind the government's irrational fear of people that struggle with these challenges. It's a small, cold comfort in this cruel, sick little twisted scab of a world, but at least I won't be left wondering.

Personally, I still feel that this was an unfair and cold-hearted reaction--to deny me the ability to ever donate plasma or blood in the future just because of my mental illness, but to call me a "threat to public safety" was, in my opinion, taking it too far on the donation center's part. However, this is most likely just my anger at being made to feel marginalized because of my condition talking. However, I am still going to pursue whatever documentation I can get my hands on about the guidelines, laws, etc. concerning this and trying to figure out if there's anything I can do about it. Even if there isn't, as I've said before, at least I'll know exactly why. Plus, most of this looks like interesting research material for the novels I write, so there's that. :3 Anyway, again, thank you for replying and for providing more material to research. I appreciate it, folks.

 

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13 hours ago, Raven's Soul said:

Personally, I still feel that this was an unfair and cold-hearted reaction--to deny me the ability to ever donate plasma or blood in the future just because of my mental illness, but to call me a "threat to public safety" was, in my opinion, taking it too far on the donation center's part. However, this is most likely just my anger at being made to feel marginalized because of my condition talking.

You have a right to feel that anger. People with mental illnesses are more likely to be victims than to be threats to public safety. I agree they went way too far and marginalized you, and I too would be very hurt and angry if it happened to me. If someone has insight enough to seek to give blood, I don't think they are any danger or are going to cause any upset at the place where people donate. To me, that's  B.S.

I fear that between ignorance like this and ignorance on the part of our lawmakers after the school shootings, we are all going to walking around with a mark on us saying we are threats to public safety. I really, really fear it because I am a loner who suffers from depression and therefore I fit the profile even though I would NEVER do anything against public safety.

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On 3/23/2018 at 1:36 PM, Raven's Soul said:

I got denied today, too. Why? Because I have paranoid schizophrenia, and was told: "Because people with this illness are still seen as a threat to public safety, and because you might become a threat at any time during the procedure, I cannot allow you to donate, per FDA regulations. Your name has to be added to the NDDR. I'm sorry. Please leave." (The guy that was running the screen process quoted the FDA stuff from some large blue binder he had, but he refused to allow me to see the contents of the page he'd read from) Now, I am trying to find anything I can that comes directly from the FDA that can either be used as proof to challenge this ruling, or as proof to back it up. So far, though, I have absolutely nothing either way.

You should be able to obtain a copy of whatever FDA information was in the blue binder of FDA regulations by contacting the FDA with a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request. They are legally obligated to provide the information if it is not of a Classified nature; this would not be.

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I am shocked and disgusted by this. Is this a new FDA policy or an old one? It seems like societal thinking on MI and policy is going backward in some cases rather than forward.

 

@Raven's Soul, you have every reason to feel hurt and stigmatized, because *you were.* It is completely ignorant and wrong and I am sorry that happened to you.

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