Thursday, April 27, 2006

Un Sang Impur

I went to give blood the other day at the nearest big town.

I filled in the forms, ticked the boxes, read the disclaimers. I have given blood most of my adult life, in Zimbabwe and the UK, and the questionnaires are always similar, what medications are you on, any recent anaesthetic, any recent tattoos peircings etc. So the French form was par for the course.
I then go behind the little screen to see the doctor and have the old finger prick thing. he reads the form, sees my UK passport, and sheepishly starts telling me why they can't take my blood.
"We are not racist" he says. "That's OK", I say, "disease takes no note of race".

It seems that if you spent more than 3 months in the UK between 1980 and 1996, they reckon there is a chance you might be infected with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD).
I asked how long I would have to wait before being cleared to give blood, and he said never. "You will never be allowed to give blood". I then had to do the walk of shame out of the centre, everyone probably thinking I had AIDS or Hepatitus or a recent Prince Albert

I understand the issue. It is nothing to do with BSE in cattle (it is unproven that vCJD is caused by eating meat from BSE contaminated cattle) but rather that people RECEIVING blood in Britain between these dates could have been infected through blood transfusion.

The irony is that many countries refuce blood from French citizens for the same reasons!

Anybody know where the title of this post comes from?


At 11:38 am, Blogger UnderCrackers said...

Yes I know where the title of this post comes from.

At 12:09 am, Blogger Mark Holland said...

It's political bullshit isn't it? They're just milking the situation as an exercise in shit stirring.

While Britain had a minor problem with HIV+ blood getting into the transfusion system back in the 80's apparently the French had and even larger one which even continued after the ministers in charge had become aware.

At 7:26 am, Blogger Stew said...

I'd forgotten about that. 1985 about 4000 people infected thru improperly screened blood. Health minister was jailed and 2 officials from the Blood Transfusion Service jailed. Others like Laurent Fabius, Socialist PM at the time got away.


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