Hemochromatosis Blood: An untapped national resource?

by Stephen Cobb on July 23, 2011

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The use of blood taken from hemochromatosis patients is a hot topic right now over on the Hemochromatosis Facebook page. The are wide discrepancies in how medical facilities handle hemochromatosis blood.

So we want to highlight some useful resources that can help spread awareness of the fact that hemochromatosis blood is fine to donate and bank, just like “normal” blood:

The first item is a great way to educate people on this topic and it is easy to print out. So why not download it, print it up, and drop off a few copies at your doctor’s office, health clinic, or blood donation center? The more people who know hemochromatosis blood can be used, the stronger our country’s blood supply will become. Consider this:

  • Hemochromatosis patients give a lot more blood than the average citizen, particularly in the early stages of treatment.
  • You can’t “catch” hereditary hemochromatosis, the blood is safe to use.
  • Too many clinics still throw the blood away or charge to “filter” it, which is a shameful waste of a precious resource.
  • You could make the difference at your local clinic by passing along this information.

(Never, and we mean NEVER, assume that doctors and nurses know about hemochromatosis blood. With all the paperwork they have to wade through these days, and the sheer pace of new medical discoveries, it is understandable that some doctors and nurses will have missed the latest on hemochromatosis.)

So here’s your chance to help. Hand out professional, medically reviewed information about this surprisingly common condition that comes with one amazing benefit: Treatment involves giving blood, good healthy, bankable blood for our nation’s blood supply.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

diana lee December 4, 2012 at 4:29 pm

When did the Red Cross last review their policy on using the blood of people with Hemochromatosis? Are they living in the dark ages? I will discouage donations by everyone I know until they change their policy. If they really needed blood they would change this policy. Until then they shouldn’y talk about a blood shortage.


karen halsey May 10, 2013 at 7:03 pm

The IBC, Indiana Blood Center just passed rules, laws, something I dont yet understand, FORBIDDING the donation of my blood. I have H1 hemochromatosis. I have know this less then a month so I am still trying to figure this out. I received a letter telling me that the IBC will no longer accept my donations on account of they have too much blood and those with this condition are no longer able to donate. To be given a diagnosis that you have this condition is something that made me afraid, but the idea that it could help others made me stronger. I gave me purpose. That is now gone and I am left confused and saddened. Any help on brainstorming how to make them see reason would be welcome. I have two treatments a week, a liter each time. I am told it may take a year or longer to get this under control. And now? 104 liters of safe blood will be disposed of because donations such as I give are said to cause the blood supply to be too plentiful and cost the state too much money to store. Any help?


COLLEEN O'BRIEN July 7, 2013 at 3:51 pm

In Yuma Arizona, where I spend my winter months, they welcome my hemochromatosis blood, even though I am 69 years old. In Canada, where I live the rest of the year, they discard my good blood. We are behind the times in Canada.

Good luck with your donations, I wish you well.


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