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Matts (1087)

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I work for MessageLabs [] in Toronto, ON, Canada. I write spam filters, MTA software, high performance network software, string matching algorithms, and other cool stuff mostly in Perl and C.

Journal of Matts (1087)

Wednesday January 04, 2006
04:45 PM

We don't want your stinky English blood

[ #28239 ]

I gave blood in the UK and thought it would be good to do so here in Canada. So I filled in the online form, got an appointment via callback, drove 15km to the donor clinic and filled in all the forms and questionaires. One question struck me as odd:

- Have you lived in the UK for longer than 12 months between 1980 and 1996?

It turns out that Canada blocks british blood because of flipping CJD. The damn thing they themselves have in British Columbia. So I drove all that way for nothing.


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  • In Ireland you can not give blood if you have been in Canada in the last 2 months. :)
  • Unless they've changed it recently, in the US they'll refuse your blood if you've been in the UK for as short as 3 months (aggregate) during that period. Pretty annoying. But (somewhat) logical, since they have no way of testing for vCJD. Hopefully, someday they'll finally figure that out and take our blood again!
    • Yep, the rules in the US are really quite strict. Being English, I fall under the rule you describe and no, it hasn't changed.

      And it's not just limited to those who have lived in the UK. Interestingly enough my wife (American) cannot give blood either thanks to the rule stating that you cannot give blood if you've spent 5 years in any one of 33 different European countries. The red cross [] site has the entire list for vCJD.