Cape Cod Healthcare

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The Screening Process: Making your donation safe

Thank you for coming today.

This information sheet explains how YOU can help us make the donation process safe for your and patients who will receive your blood.

Accuracy and honesty are essential

Your complete honesty in answering all questions is very important for the safety of patients who receive your blood. All information you provide is confidential.

The donation process

  • To determine if you are eligible to donate, we will:
    • Ask questions about health, travel and medicines
    • Ask questions to see if you might be at risk for hepatitis, HIV or AIDS
    • Take your blood pressure, temperature, and pulse.
    • Take a small blood sample to make sure you are not anemic.

If you are able to donate, we will:

  • Cleanse your arm with an antiseptic (If you are allergic to cholorhexidine gluconate, please tell us).
  • Use a new, sterile, disposable needle to collect your blood.

Do not donate if you:

  • Have AIDS or have ever had a positive HIV test
  • Have ever used needles to take drugs, steroids or anything not prescribed by your physician
  • Are a male who has had sexual contact with another male, even once, since 1977.
  • Have ever taken money, drugs or payments for sex since 1977
  • Have had sexual contact in the past 12 months with anyone described above
  • Have had syphilis or gonorrhea in the past 12 months.
  • In the last 12 months have been in juvenile detention, lockup, jail or prison for more than 72 hours
  • Have any of the following conditions that can be signs or symptoms of HIV/AIDS:
    • Unexplained weight loss or night sweats
    • Blue or purple spots in your mouth or skin
    • Swollen lymph nodes for more than one month
    • White spots or unusual sores in your mouth
    • Cough that won’t go away or shortness of breath
    • Diarrhea that won’t go away.
    • Fever of more than 100.5 degrees for more than 10 days

Remember that you CAN give HIV to someone else through blood transfusions even if you feel well and have a negative HIV test. This is because tests cannot detect infections for a period of time after a person is exposed to HIV. If you think you may be at risk for HIV/AIDS or want an HIV/AIDS test, please ask for information about other testing facilities. PLEASE DO NOT DONATE TO GET AN HIV/AIDS TEST!

  • Travel to or born in other countries
  • Blood donor tests may not be available for some contagious diseases that are found only in certain countries. If you were born in, have lived in, or visited certain countries, you may not be eligible to donate.

What happens after your donation

To protect patients, your blood is tested for hepatitis B and C, HIV, certain infections diseases and syphilis. If your blood tests positive, it will not be given to a patient. You will be notified about test results that may disqualify you from donating in the future. Please do not donate to get tested for HIV, hepatitis or any other infections.