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Can a person with jaundice in the past donate blood?

Q: I am 46 years old. I do not have any major problems such as diabetes, BP, etc. My blood group is O positive. I had an attack of jaundice 23 years back. I had donated blood on a few occasions after about three years of my getting jaundice, but when I recently approached a blood bank, they refused to accept my blood. This was because I had indicated my history of jaundice in their application form. Can I donate blood?

A:The guidelines for blood donation vary from country to country and sometimes even in different blood banks. A person's suitability to donate blood depends on two general considerations that the donation will not be injurious to the donor, and that the donated blood will not be unnecessarily hazardous to the recipient. The American Red Cross Guidelines and the U.S. FDA Guidelines state that if an individual has suffered from hepatitis caused by a virus (hepatitis B or C, cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus), or unexplained jaundice after the age 11, one cannot donate blood. Non-infective jaundice or hepatitis that is due to something other than a viral infection (medications, Gilbert's disease, bile duct obstruction, alcohol, gallstones or trauma to the liver) does not preclude blood donation.


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