New Legislation Bans ME Sufferers From Donating Blood

by VR Sreeraman on  October 8, 2010 at 5:45 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
ME sufferers will not be allowed to donate blood in the UK from November 1 under new legislation announced on Friday.

NHS Blood and Transplant, who drafted the law, claim the measure is intended to protect sufferers of the illness, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome.
 New Legislation Bans ME Sufferers From Donating Blood
New Legislation Bans ME Sufferers From Donating Blood

The ME Association doubted this justification and insisted that the ban was prompted by concern that the condition may be caused by a virus.

Previously, sufferers were allowed to give blood if they were in remission, but officials said that because of the "relapsing-remitting" nature of the condition it should be afforded the same status as other cyclical illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's Disease.

NHS Blood and Transplant claim the law is "a precaution to protect the donor's safety by ensuring their condition is not made worse by donating blood."

The ME Association agreed with the ban, but questioned the reasoning.

"In the current state of uncertainty about a possible viral link a ban is a perfectly sensible measure to take in case it is caused by a retrovirus," the association's medical advisor, Dr Charles Shepherd, said.

Scientists are yet to discover the cause of the condition, but US researchers recently linked the illness to the xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) after it was found in a disproportionately large number of ME sufferers' blood samples.

Source: AFP

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