Jump to content

blood donors please read


  • Please log in to reply
13 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?



#14 cattivo lupo

Posted 05 February 2011 - 10:04 AM

I've failed the fingerprick test a few times when I've donated, so then they go on to give me another test, taking blood of my arm and testing that.  Is that test just another haemoglobin test, or is it a proper one?

Sometimes after I give, I'm absolutely wiped out (and I don't do tired or ill very graciously, so everyone suffers right along with me  blush.gif) , and sometimes I bounce back really well.  

Thanks for the info OP, will go and do some reading.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

How I learnt to relax about routines

After many routine-led, tough years, we've realised that being parenting isn't about being perfect. It isn't about following a schedule to a T.

Should you have a third child or not?

I thought our family had been complete with our two boys. I had no idea how much I needed my daughter until she was here.

Helping a toddler embrace an adopted sibling

A single parent by choice, I am preparing to adopt a second baby from Morocco. And I face a special challenge.

When pregnancy messes with your self-esteem

Pregnancy doesn't make all women feel beautiful. It certainly doesn't raise every woman's self-esteem.

Join us in The BIG nappy change

Introducing the new Coles Little Explorer Nappies! You can confidently rely on Coles Little Explorer nappies at each stage of your child's growth, so take the Big Nappy Change and try new Coles Little Explorer nappies for yourself!

Robbie Williams live tweets wife's labour

And the award for most patient woman in labour goes to ... Robbie Williams' wife, Ayda Field.

Vaccine ignorance is deadly and contagious

In the absence of credible, strong political leadership, paranoia about disease can go viral.

Parenting differently based on birth order

All children have unique personalities, but keeping birth order in mind could help when parenting.

How to get rid of the mum guilt

Motherhood and guilt seem to go hand in hand, but there are ways to focus

Paid parental leave scheme grinds to a halt

The future of Prime Minister Tony Abbott's paid parental leave scheme appears to be up in the air, despite the fact it is due to begin in less than nine months.

The devastation of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders

No one's sure how many Australians are affected by foetal alcohol spectrum disorders, but the consequences for those who are can be devastating.

The pros and cons of finding out the sex of your unborn baby

It’s often one of the biggest choices parents make during the course of their pregnancy; to find out, or not to find out, the sex of their baby before it’s born.

Toddler's awesome dress up month

Two-year-old Willow and her photographer mum, Gina Lee, made October "Dress Up Willow Month". She posted photos of Willow's costumes on her Instagram account, and her creative takes on popular culture are simply adorable.

Childhood around the world

It can be easy to assume our ideas around childhood are universal, but they are particular to where we live, as these practices show.

Best picks for baby and toddler shoes

Here's a great selection of footwear from pre-walker to walker ensuring comfort and style for growing feet.

I lost my wife and daughters to Ebola - then it came for my son

Sunday, September 21, is a day I will never forget.

The 'yucky' illness that took over my life

I have a chronic illness nobody likes to discuss. It involves toilet talk, and probably caused my miscarriage. But it needs to be talked about.

Prenatal testing: the facts

Prenatal testing is done to check if a baby has certain medical conditions before birth. Here is some important information about what the tests are for and the risks involved.

5 things to do with your baby?s old clothes

Did you think your only option for your baby?s old clothes was to pack them away or give them to the Salvos? Think again.

Why it's possible to not realise you're pregnant until the baby arrives

After hearing about 'surprise babies' born to mums who didn't know they were pregnant, it's common to ask "how did she not realise?" But experts say it's entirely possible for it to happen.

'My miracle is finally here'

How has the world continued on its pace when mine has been altered so drastically?

Dairy can help older women fall pregnant: study

Ice cream may be the ultimate comfort food, but a study suggests it could also help older women to have children.

Megan Gale goes topless for 'sexiest people' cover

Six months after a heavily pregnant Megan Gale posed nude for Marie Claire, the glowing new mum has gone topless for the cover of another magazine.

A new perspective on life from living with two diseases

A mother shares her personal story about the difficulty of living with two conditions, one of which stops her from being able to see her daughter's face.

Warning about Children's Panadol dosage

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has issued a safety advisory warning parents about confusion when using the dosing syringe supplied with Children's Panadol.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Take 'The Coles Big Nappy Change' Challenge

You could become part of our Test Drive team and win one of 200 packs of Coles Little Explorer Nappies as part of our 5-day challenge.

Win 1 of 5 Canon Powershot D30 cameras

Capture life more easily with the Canon Powershot D30. Shockproof, waterproof and dustproof, you can take it almost anywhere and shoot beautiful images, time after time. Enter now!

16 parenting truths you won't find in the baby books

I am five years into this parenting gig and I’ve learnt that sleepless nights and changing dirty nappies are child’s play.

Best and worst potty party cakes

It's nice to celebrate a child making the shift from nappies to 'big kid' undies, but do we really need a semi-realistic used toilet cake to do it? Here are some of the best and worst cakes parents have used at 'potty parties' around the world.

7 tips for a financially festive Christmas

Plan ahead - and do it now - to ensure festive season expenses don't break the bank.

'Go the F*** to Sleep' author's new book for frustrated parents

A sequel is coming soon to the 2011 hit book 'Go the F*** to Sleep' - and this time, it's about mealtimes.

Great birthday party buys from Etsy

Handmade crafts to decorate and personalise your child's next birthday - from banners to cake decorations, we've got gorgeous party finds from Etsy.

Join us in The BIG nappy change

Introducing the new Coles Little Explorer Nappies! You can confidently rely on Coles Little Explorer nappies at each stage of your child's growth, so take the Big Nappy Change and try new Coles Little Explorer nappies for yourself!

Creative storage ideas for the kids' rooms

Creative and practical storage ideas for the kids' toys and books can also add some stylish decor to your home. Visit babyology.com.au for more stylish modern finds for hip kids & parents.

Weird trend

Couple has five babies in 14 months

Julie and David Grygla weren't sure they'd ever have kids - but their dreams have now well and truly come true.

To the mum in the doctor's waiting room

Maybe the mum I saw in that waiting room, seemingly disconnected from her baby, doesn’t have the support she needs.

10 space-saving nursery ideas

Starting a family doesn't always mean moving into a bigger house - not yet, anyway.

 

What's in a name?

Baby Names

Looking for a classic name, or an unusual name? Our Baby Name Finder is for you, search or browse to refine your shortlist.

 
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.