Hank WSr.about 1 year ago
Luschen, there are all sorts of reasons why certain folks are ineligible to give blood here in the U.S. You can read about all of them on the Red Cross website:
In your case (and mine), it's because of Variant Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease, or "Mad Cow Disease". According to the Red Cross, "there is no test for vCJD in humans that could be used to screen blood donors and to protect the blood supply. This means that blood programs must take special precautions to keep vCJD out of the blood supply by avoiding collections from those who have been where this disease is found."
What's the upshot? You can't donate if:
"From January 1, 1980, through December 31, 1996, you spent (visited or lived) a cumulative time of 3 months or more, in the United Kingdom (UK), or
From January 1, 1980, to present, you had a blood transfusion in any country(ies) in the (UK)."
Though I've been a vegetarian for most of my life (and didn't eat meat in the UK), it doesn't matter. I can't give blood because I spent time in the UK during those years.
Until there's some way to test for Mad Cow, you and I and everyone else in that situation is out of luck here in the US.