Jump to content

blood donors please read


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 s-m

Posted 04 February 2011 - 11:42 PM

This message is a heads-up for regular donors who experience tiredness or any other symptom of iron deficiency to please see your doctor and request a blood test.

I have been a regular whole blood donor on and off over the years, went back about 4y ago when we gave up TTC. Late last year I was super-tired, but I put this down to having been sick after an overseas trip and then starting a new job 4d per week.

Due to doing a plasma donation (unable to give full blood for 4m after returning from a Malaria risk area), I had a full blood count done by the Blood Bank. Two weeks later I got an email saying I should see my GP to have my iron levels checked. I did this and both my iron levels and my iron stores were seriously low. Despite this, I was not anaemic and was still passing the finger-prick test done before every blood donation.

My GP has banned me from the blood bank for at least 6m while I take an iron supplement for 3m and then wait another 3m before re-testing. He has already suggested that I should give up donating whole blood until after menopause. He said he has never been impressed with the Blood Bank failing to ever check iron levels in regular donors.

Edited to add that after a month of taking the supplement, I am feeling quite alot better.

Edited again to bold an important point.

Steph

Edited by s-m, 05 February 2011 - 07:34 AM.


#2 Steel Working

Posted 04 February 2011 - 11:45 PM

Well it WAS the Blood Bank that refused my blood due to low iron, and they have told me I have to wait 6 months

I am surprised that your Dr said what he did, as the BB have ALWAYS checked my iron levels - it's part of the whole check in procedure

Is it different in different states maybe?

#3 s-m

Posted 05 February 2011 - 07:33 AM

PPs I do know what I am talking about. I have been donating for almost 30 years and I have a good understanding of the medical issues involved.

QUOTE
as the BB have ALWAYS checked my iron levels - it's part of the whole check in procedure

QUOTE
my iron levels are checked every single time


The finger-prick done at the blood bank does not measure iron levels, it measures Haemoglobin content of your blood. If this is low then you have iron-deficiency anaemia.

QUOTE
Iron is an integral part of haemoglobin, the red protein that carries oxygen in the blood. An inadequate supply of iron is one cause of a fall in haemoglobin or anaemia. Ferritin is an iron-containing protein that is the primary form of iron stored inside of cells. The small quantity of ferritin that is released into the blood is a reflection of the amount of total iron stored in the body. Inadequate dietary iron or increased demand may lead to depletion of iron stores and anaemia.


Neither iron or Ferritin can be measured from a finger-prick, they require a proper blood test and the Blood Bank does not check it. Both can be seriously low - enough to produce symptoms - WITHOUT failing the Haemoglobin finger-prick at the blood bank. I thought I made this clear in my OP.

The PPs who failed the finger-prick test, they didn't actually measure your iron levels but the low Haemoglobin that was measured is almost certainly caused by low iron. Unless the nurse bothered to explain the details I can understand why you thought they measured your iron levels.

The point of this thread is to alert people who are not failing the finger-prick test to not get the misguided idea that this means their iron levels and stores are ticking along just fine, because you might be low in iron anyway.

Steph

Edited by s-m, 05 February 2011 - 07:38 AM.


#4 JustSmileAndNod

Posted 05 February 2011 - 07:37 AM

Thanks for that Steph, and good point! I have haemachromatosis so was also told not to rely on the Hb finger prick test, to also have regular blood test for iron levels.

#5 anasam

Posted 05 February 2011 - 08:04 AM

This happened to me, my iron levels were quite low but I still passed the finger prick test and so donated blood. I wondered though if it was the donation that tipped me over the edge.

#6 koalas

Posted 05 February 2011 - 08:47 AM

This has also happened to me.  I have really high haem levels (150's) but had very low stored iron

#7 Soontobegran

Posted 05 February 2011 - 09:03 AM

Good advice OP.
I think that menstruating women should always have the Serum Fe levels done before contemplating blood donation. Low iron is such a common issue for women that I would have thought BB would incorporate the testing into their pre-donation screening.

#8 emc002

Posted 05 February 2011 - 09:07 AM

This happened to me, and my ferritin levels were also on the lowest number of the normal range - so the GP wasn't informing me either!!

#9 zande

Posted 05 February 2011 - 09:17 AM

Good advice s-m. Years ago I used to be a regular donor, but after a couple of years, I would feel absolutely terrible the day after I gave blood.I then failed the finger prick test twice and wasn't able to donate and then saw my GP who said me my iron stores were very low (had FBC etc) and advised me not to donate anymore. I was on iron supplements throughout both my pregnancies, and then again last year after going to my GP as I was feeling very tired & rundown. My iron stores were seriously low again. I doubt that I will ever be able to give blood again.

#10 baby_mumma

Posted 05 February 2011 - 09:23 AM

seriously!? oomg2.gif

I am a very regular blood donor, and for over a year now have been sooooooo tied, i sleep all the time, i have NO energy for ANYTHING (i'd rather sleep) I've tied multi-vitumes, diet change the works ( ssorry.gif but yeah not gone to a doctor as i hate them). . . .maybe its time i took a trip to see the GP after all. . . . Thanks tthumbs.gif

#11 monkeymel

Posted 05 February 2011 - 09:23 AM

This happened to me.  I was borderline anaemic but passed the fingerprick test as my blood iron levels were ok but my overall iron levels were not.  I do think that donating blood every 4 or so months caused the borderline anaemia.

I eat plenty of red meat but I am someone who has low iron stores, and I was also on iron supplements while pregnant.

#12 tle

Posted 05 February 2011 - 09:38 AM

That's really interesting. I've had problems with low iron on and off for longer than I can remember (even requiring a blood tranfusions myself) but I'm a regular blood donor.

I mistakenly thought that the fingerprick test was testing my iron so when it comes back normal all the time I've assumed that my blood has been fine. Despite having all the symptoms of low iron I haven't bothered to have a full blood test done because of that.

I don't want to stop being a donor but I will have a blood test done before my next donation.

#13 Renoir

Posted 05 February 2011 - 10:01 AM

That's really interesting, Steph. Thank you.

I am actually due to donate but wouldn't mind checking my levels first, now that you've brought it up.

What supplement are you on?  Is it a matter of just grabbing some ferro-grad from the chemist or something fancier?






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

11 things that will happen when you're breastfeeding

After having three children and various degrees of success feeding them all, there's one thing I can tell you: virtually nothing will go as planned.

Surgery for baby born with a tail

A baby born with a tail has had it removed after doctors feared the birth defect might cause long term damage to his lower body.

When 'skin to skin' becomes a family affair

An adorable photo of a little boy and his dad enjoying skin to skin contact with newborn twins is melting hearts everywhere.

35 hilariously weird 'top tips'

Who would have thunk it? We never knew there were so many uses for feminine hygiene products. 

Pregnancy skin woes: acne, dry skin, itchy skin

Here are some of the most common skin complaints in pregnancy and how to tackle them, face on.

Watch this fun dance class for babywearing dads

Is there anything sexier than a babywearing dad?

Parents, this is how to cut grapes to avoid choking

One mum has learnt a harrowing lesson about the best way to cut grapes to make it safe for toddlers and little kids to eat.

When your kids have totally different temperaments

Sometimes it has felt like whiplash parenting. She perches watchfully while I vacuum; he tries to climb on and go for a ride.

How do our stress levels influence our baby?

Since having my second baby a number of people have commented on how placid, content and settled he is and, similarly, many have commented on how this is a reflection of how I am with him.

Separation anxiety isn't just for kids

Despite its prevalence, most doctors tend to be reluctant to diagnose adult patients with separation anxiety.

A charm bracelet, a boy, and my beliefs questioned

I was staring at the face of my son, realising that my once steadfast decision to be open minded was quickly unravelling at the seams.

Why I'm so grateful for Hayden Panettiere's PND honesty

There are baby steps and giant leaps forward. But there are steps backwards, too. And, oh, how they can hurt your heart.

The heartbreaking story of little Moko

The mother of 3-year-old Moko Rangitoheriri said she should have picked up on the signs. {Warning: distressing content}

Kate Beckinsale and teen daughter recreate birth photo

Kate Beckinsale has recreated her daughter Lily's birth photo, 17 years after she was born.

The adult-size stroller you'll want to test drive

It's one of the biggest baby related purchases they will make, so it makes sense that parents-to-be get a chance to road test a stroller.

Pregnancy announcement shows the reality of IVF

It's a long way from baby booties or bump shots people have become accustomed to in social media pregnancy announcements.  

Soleil Moon Frye welcomes fourth baby

"Punky Brewster" is a mom again, for the fourth time. Soleil Moon Frye announced the birth of her baby boy, Story, on Instagram Wednesday.

Mum breastfeeds baby found abandoned on the street

A woman has been praised as a "beautiful mother" after breastfeeding a baby which had been abandoned at the side of a street. 

A birth with a difference: the 'natural caesarean'

We've shared stories of gentle caesareans before, but a new video shows a new option called a 'natural caesarean'.

Baby name inspiration by music genre

If you're all about the music, then you'll need a musical name for that baby. We've got all the lists for you by music genre.

Giving effective instructions to toddlers

One of the most common errors made by parents is in how they give instructions to their children.

 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Articles

Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

The babies who are one in 70 million

Bethani Webb was excited to find out she was pregnant, but the first time mum did not realise she was carrying four babies not one.

Cafe offers breastfeeding mums a free cup of tea

A Sydney cafe is offering breastfeeding mums free cups of tea in a bid to show support for the right of women to nurse their babies wherever they choose.

To snip or not to snip? When the decision is not clear cut

Jamie Oliver, who considered a vasectomy, is to be a father again. A fellow dad reflects on his own decision 11 years ago

Doctors stunned by rare twins born almost six weeks apart

To everyone's surprise, Kristen Miller "kept doing better each day", keeping her second baby safe.

Baby book ideas for modern parents

Before my son was born I was given a lovely baby book full of blank pages waiting to be filled with weights and heights and first words.

The adorable smile of a baby seeing his mum clearly for the first time

There is no doubt seeing their child smile for the first time is an unforgettable moment for parents everywhere.

Mum tells how toddler 'nearly hung himself' in cot mishap

When Alison Johnson put her 18-month-old Caleb down for a nap, she had no reason to believe her son was in any danger.

Babies are still switched at birth? Yes, it can happen

All my panic and tears aside, my biggest question looking back is about the kind of security measures used in the maternity ward.

Doctors slammed for taking selfie with newborn

Everyone who visits a mum in hospital in the days following childbirth wants to get a photo with the new baby.

ergoPouch Twosie Sleepsuit for winter breastfeeding

Finally, there's a way to keep warm while breastfeeding through winter.

Health check: How long does sex 'normally' last?

What to do with this information? My advice would be to try not to think about it during the throes of passion.

When breastfeeding sucks: fixing common problems

From niplash to tight boobs, biting to milk supply issues, Pinky McKay looks at common breastfeeding issues and how to solve them.

10 things I've learnt in my first six months with twins

Six months on we're all still alive, and the more we get to know each other the easier the days become.

Mum's loving kiss leaves baby fighting for life

Kirsty Carrington thought nothing of giving her newborn son a kiss, little did she know it would leave the baby fighting for life.

When doing chores is your new 'me time'

After children, 'me time' looks a little different.

Get going: 14 travel strollers for families on the move

A stroller can make or break travelling with a baby or toddler. Here are 15 great single travel stroller options.

10 ways toddlers are terrific

It always pays to remind yourself of how terrific toddlers can be - they're little like this for such a short time

 

Vintage Toys

The toys of your childhood

Take a trip down memory lane with these vinage and retro toys that you may have had in your childhood or your parent's childhood.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.