Many human being with autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, are advised versus donating blood.

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Share on PinterestThere are instances in which people with autoimmune conditions can donate blood. Getty Images.
Many myths and also misconceptions surround the ideas of blood and also organ donation.

This is especially true for patients with autoimmune diseases.

Some medical professionals advise patients through illnesses, such as rheumatoid arthritis, many sclerosis, and also diabetes, against donating blood.

This is mostly because of medications they room taking and also sometimes since of surgical implants.

There is likewise the worry of infection.

Some autoimmune patients take immunosuppressive drugs and also biologics that can raise the danger of infection.

While the commonwealth government at this time lists just HIV infections as a problem in i m sorry the human being is never enabled to offer blood, the Red Cross and individual blood financial institution sites list various other chronic and acute infections as factors for a irreversible or short-lived deferral.

This includes the common cold and also flu.

Anemia is likewise common in some rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and autoimmune patients.

This is because of the chronic inflammation in the body that contributes come the depletion of red blood cells. Specific RA medications can also lead come anemia.

Patients through anemia space advised against donating blood.


A condition such as RA or multiple sclerosis (MS) in and of itself is not necessarily an automatic cause for ineligibility once it concerns blood donations.

Folks who room living with diabetes are likewise typically allowed to donate.

That word, however, doesn’t always get to human being with these ailments.

“I have actually RA and also my medical professional said ns am certain not permitted to donate blood at a blood drive. I’ve want to yet cannot,” Kari W. That Ohio called barisalcity.org.

Sharon, one employee in ~ Vitalant blood solutions in Pittsburgh, told barisalcity.org, “Depending on her medications, that is fine because that rheumatoid patient to donate. In fact, we have actually a lot of of human being with RA who perform donate regularly. They just need to fill out the health and wellness questionnaire type and experience a small physical.”

She did advise, however, the patients no come in throughout an active disease flare-up when their inflammation levels space high.

Vitalant, the Red Cross, and also other blood bank sites execute not perform RA or many autoimmune conditions as ineligible clinical conditions.

Vitalant’s website does not cite autoimmune conditions specifically, but states, “Most health conditions are acceptable and you may be eligible to donate as long as you accomplish all other requirements.”

The Red overcome website has actually a comparable statement concerning chronic illnesses: “Most chronic illnesses space acceptable as long as you feeling well, the problem is under control, and you meet all various other eligibility requirements.”


A nonprofit called the PBCers organization states on your website, “Patients with many autoimmune conditions cannot donate blood due to the fact that of so countless unknown factors of these diseases.”

PBC, or major biliary cholangitis, is a rarely autoimmune an illness that influence the liver.

A health services provider in California, dubbed Providence health and wellness & Services, agrees that autoimmune patients cannot or should not donate blood, stating that people with autoimmune conditions such together Crohn’s disease, lupus, MS, and also RA have actually a “permanent deferral” from providing blood.

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So, what is the verdict?

Probably, it’s finest for RA and also autoimmune patients to questioning both their personal rheumatologist or specialist as well as the details blood bank at which they hope to donate blood.

After all, some of the guidelines continue to be vague.

The national Institutes of wellness simply states that donors must be “healthy” — which leaves a many room come interpretation.

It likewise depends largely on if the patience is anemic, and, what form of medications they are on.

Patients through chronic conditions should constantly consult through their physician first, and do your homework before signing up to donate blood.