Donating Blood

hey everyone!! my college is having a blood drive, and i was just wondering if anyone knows if there’s extra stuff i should (or should not) do before donating. any veteran diabetic blood donors out there?

As a result of “mad cow” they’ll ask you if you ever used beef insulin. They’ll specifically ask you if it was beef insulin made from British cows. I have no idea to tell if insulin was made from British cows vs other cows. Do cows even have an accent when they moo? :slight_smile:

If you’re recently diagnosed (last umpteen years) you probably only ever used humulin or other recombinant-DNA-origin insulins and it’s not an issue.

Here (in the UK) they won’t let you donate blood if you have Type 1 diabetes.
I think it’s more for your safety than theirs, but I’m still a bit sad about it.

I haven’t given blood since I was diagnosed (because I’m not eligible from time spent abroad). However, I did hear from some other type 1s who struggled with high blood sugars for a week or so after donating. I could not figure out the reason, but maybe someone else knows?

They also ask you if your BG’s are in range. How you are feeling, etc. I would recommend eating before you donate.

My daughter (who is a member) has T1 for 4 years. She still gives blood and has no issues.

I have given blood before and have had no issues. Just make sure your sugars are doing good before you go. They have juice and cookies if yours drops on you. :slight_smile:

thank you guys so much!!! really makes me not freak out :smiley:

In Canada you cannot donate blood if you use insulin.

I just say “no” to the bovine question. I’ve had diabetes for 36 years and used to use pork insulin, never bovine. Give blood every chance I get. I just make sure my blood sugar isn’t too low before starting. Other than that, nothing different.

I’ve donated 3 times since diagnosis (I was diagnosed 3 years ago.) I recommend getting LOTS of fluids the day before and day of your donation. They recommend that anyway, but I’d say it’s especially important for diabetics to drink lots of water before and afterward. Also make sure you have something to eat 1-2 hours before you donate. Try not to have any caffeine that day. Good luck!

I live in Canada, and “Canadian Blood Services” will not allow anyone on insulin to donate blood. I believe it is the same in the UK. I have personally spoken to someone from the organization, and they told me that the reason I can not donate blood is not because of any danger to me, but danger to the person receiving the blood. A person who uses insulin on a daily basis will carry it in their blood. Usually if a person is receiving blood they are in a previously weakened state. This weakened state can be made much worse by receiving blood with insulin in it. As far as I know, thats why Diabetics can not donate blood in Canada.

Here are two earlier discussions on this topic. It seems that most can donate with no problem, but you will see comments from someone who said that it did raise their blood sugars for a week. So that is something to watch out for.
Giving blood ='s high blood sugars??
Donating blood

I’ve donated 3 times since diagnosis of type 1 - 13 years ago. Make sure you’re in range when you go. They might ask you to test your BG in front of them so they can see that you’re in range. Other than that, I’ve had no issues. Drink lots of water a few days before to keep the blood flowing quicker.

Good luck and thank you for donating.

Thanks so much for the advice!!!

I have been told at the hospital that diabetics are a “weird” group in that some blood people will take it all day long and others will not take it. It almost sounded as if it were up to the bloodmobile bus driver. Therefore, I have asked a couple of times in my 52 years of the “D” and been turned down both times. So now I don’t even ask.

thanks so much for the tips!! i really appreciate it :slight_smile:

I was wondering the same thing and actually went to the American Red Cross website and it gives you all kinds of information about people with diabetes and giving blood. Here’s the link:

Thanks for being a blood donor. I feel bad that I can’t (type O+, universal donor) because I don’t weigh enough. My husband donates frequently to make up my share:)

After 37 years I have never known a time when i could donate. Now what I did not know until this year, is that the reason in my case is mad cow. My guess is that I never had British cows parts, but who knows.

rick Phillips