Blood Donor Program

This group is for people interested in blood donation. Every six minutes, a patient at Mayo Clinic needs a transfusion of blood or blood products. A simple blood donation can save the life of a child with leukemia, restore the strength of a cancer patient, or provide a critical transfusion to an accident victim. There is no substitute for this lifesaving gift, so patients rely upon the caring spirit of blood donors. Join the discussion and learn more about blood donation!

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Tue, Aug 1, 2017 9:03am

New Eligibility Guidelines for Blood Donors with Previous Cancer Diagnoses

By Jackie O'Reilly, @jacquelineoreilly

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To coincide with American Red Cross recommendations, the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program has redefined eligibility guidelines for donors who have had a history of previous cancer diagnoses.

New Eligibility Guidelines

“Worldwide, there has never been a reported case of any type of cancer being transferred via blood transfusion,” says Justin Kreuter, M.D., Medical Director of Mayo’s Blood Donor Program. “So, we recently reviewed our program’s cancer-deferral policy and updated our practice to be in line with the American Red Cross.”

The American Red Cross supplies approximately 40% of the donated blood in the United States, which it sells to hospitals and regional suppliers. Community-based blood centers supply 50%, and only 6% of blood and blood products are collected directly by hospitals.

Are These Changes Safe?
Approximately one year after most cancer treatments, the vast majority of patients will be sufficiently recovered to donate blood products.

“We continually review scientific data and medical literature on this topic—always with the best interests of our donors and recipients at the top of our list,” says Dr. Kreuter, “and as I noted earlier, zero cases have been reported in the world about transmitting cancer via blood transfusions.”

Schedule an Appointment to Donate Today
Here’s how you can schedule an appointment:

  • Call the Blood Donor Center in Rochester at (77)4-4475 (Hilton Building) or (77)5-4359 (Joseph Building).
  • Email donateblood@mayo.edu.

Stay Connected with the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center
For up-to-date information about blood-product needs and other ways you can volunteer at the Blood Donor Center in Rochester, visit the Blood Donor Center blog, the Blood Donor Center website, join the center’s internal Yammer group, and/or like the center on Facebook.

Does Mayo allow donors with hereditary hemochromatosis?

@steeldove

Does Mayo allow donors with hereditary hemochromatosis?

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@steeldove Thank you for your question! At this time our Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program does not have the ability to accept blood donors with hereditary hemochromatosis. That said, we are looking into it. Please message me if you would like to talk about this further- thanks!

Is post Merkel cell carcinoma eligible for blood donation?

@angieklima

Is post Merkel cell carcinoma eligible for blood donation?

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@angieklima At our Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program, those with a history of Merkel cell carcinoma are eligible for blood donation 1 year after treatment!

While you say melanoma patients may donate you do not differentiate what kind of melanoma. Choroidal/uveal melanoma, also known as ocular melanoma, is not the same as cutaneous or skin melanoma. Uveal melanoma metastasizes via the blood, making it much like leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. I would never donate blood given this fact about my uveal melanoma. If we have Class 2 our risk of mets is 72% within 5 years so while we may be mets free at 1 year out we certainly would not want to donate blood. I think you need to use the terms cutaneous melanoma and uveal/choroidal melanoma rather than lumping them together. They are separate and distinct cancers.

@nursenell

While you say melanoma patients may donate you do not differentiate what kind of melanoma. Choroidal/uveal melanoma, also known as ocular melanoma, is not the same as cutaneous or skin melanoma. Uveal melanoma metastasizes via the blood, making it much like leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. I would never donate blood given this fact about my uveal melanoma. If we have Class 2 our risk of mets is 72% within 5 years so while we may be mets free at 1 year out we certainly would not want to donate blood. I think you need to use the terms cutaneous melanoma and uveal/choroidal melanoma rather than lumping them together. They are separate and distinct cancers.

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@nursenell thanks for your comment! We appreciate the significant diversity among the various types & subtypes of cancer. Our cancer deferral practice is donor-centric. The 1 year deferral for most malignant cancers is just where we begin the dialogue of qualifying a potential blood donor.

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