We hear time and again that people with CMT are turned down as a blood donor, for which there may be perfectly legitimate reasons, or sometimes, its down to lack of knowledge by the staff at the blood donation centre. Therefore, we have written to the National Blood Service for clarification on this matter and this is the letter that we’ve received in response to our query:
Thank you for your email enquiry on behalf of Charcot-Marie-Tooth UK. I agree that a diagnosis of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease would only debar one from blood donation if the individual concerned was not able to get on and off the donation bed/chair unaided.
As you correctly state one would need to quality for all other health related questions asked at each donation. I have discussed your enquiry with my Associate Medical Director who requests that if anyone who has been deferred because of a diagnosis of CMT would like us to investigate their care individually we would be happy for them to contact the National Blood Service and we can look into this.
Thank you, again, for your willingness to help.
Yours sincerely Dr J E Liston
Associate Specialist in Transfusion Medicine
So, therefore – IF YOU QUALIFY for all the other criterion – such as being the right weight, reasonably mobile, not on drugs that exclude you, or have any other medical issues – you can donate blood. If you are refused, please go to the website of the National Blood Service – www.blood.co.uk – and ask them to investigate as to why you’ve been refused.