Friday, December 03, 2010

Policy of US Red Cross iro M.E/CFS patients

The American Red Cross has issued a statement saying that they will not accept blood from patients who have ever been diagnosed with M.E/CFS for both donor and patient safety. This is related to the newly discovered retroviruses that are so commonly found in people with these illnesses. There is fear of transmitting a serious, long term and debilitating virus through the blood supply.

See the article HERE

WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE (click HERE for direct link) 
"The American Red Cross announced Friday that it is barring people with chronic fatigue syndrome from donating blood to reduce the risk of transmitting a virus that has been associated with the disease.

The virus is known as xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus or XMRV. Some studies have found that people with chronic fatigue syndrome are more likely to carry the virus. But it remains far from clear whether the virus causes the disease.

Nevertheless, the Red Cross decided to bar people with the syndrome from donating "in the interest of patient and donor safety," according to an announcement from the organization.
At present, there are no specific federal recommendations regarding deferral of individuals with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or other diseases that have been associated with Murine Leukemia Virus-related virus (XMRV) infection. Nevertheless, in the interest of patient and donor safety, the American Red Cross will defer indefinitely any donor who reveals during the donor interview that they have been diagnosed with CFS," the statement said.

"There is currently insufficient data to conclude that XMRV is transmitted through blood transfusion. However, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Task force is conducting research to determine the frequency of the virus in the donor population, whether it is transfusion-transmitted, and whether recipients become infected and develop the disease," it said.

A task force that reviews blood safety for an organization known as the AABB recommended in June that blood collecting organization "actively discourage potential donors who have ever been diagnosed by a physician with chronic fatigue syndrome ... or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), from donating blood or blood components. In addition, any donor with symptoms of CFS would be deferred if, on the day of donation, they respond negatively to the question, 'Are you feeling well today?' " the agency said.

The recommendation came after new research strengthened the possible connection between the virus and the syndrome."

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