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Old 07-31-2011, 09:23 AM
shellos8's Avatar
shellos8 shellos8 is offline
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Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 105
Organ and blood donation

I've done some online research regarding donating blood over the past couple of months but it's all conflicting information. Some say you can donate blood, some say you can't. I don't really NEED to know because I don't donate blood anyway. My veins are so hard to use that I just don't do it.

Organ donation on the other hand, is important to me. Since I got my license 23 years ago I've been listed as an organ donor. It suddenly occured to me the other day....CAN I still be an organ donor when I die? Much of what I'm reading indicates that people with MS cannot be organ donors but can donate brain and spinal tissue for research. The reasoning behind not being allowed to donate is that the cause of MS is unknown but it thought to possibly be caused by a virus.

Does anyone have any further information? I found a website for the Rocky Mountain MS Center who will pay for a pathologist in your own area to do the autopsy to obtain the brain and spinal tissue and they will then pay for your body to be returned to the funeral home. There must be other programs out there as well.

UGH, this sounds so morbid and I apologize. This is important to me though and I want to learn all I can and then make an informed decision about what to do with my body when I die.
Old 07-31-2011, 05:10 PM
Spydre Spydre is offline
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Illinois
Posts: 797
I've heard yes, and I've heard no. I have one woman on my MS list who can only donate her eyes to another donor, but she was told that was because all her other organs were damaged because of Crohn's disease (I think that's it). But I've had others tell me that we can't, but the major reason is the medication we are on.
Diagnosis: May, 2008
Avonex, Copaxone, Tysabri starting 8/17/11
Old 07-31-2011, 06:34 PM
chalknpens chalknpens is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: The Beautiful Eastern Woodlands
Posts: 368
Regional Red Cross areas make their own decision. I live in a region that accepts blood from people with MS ... whether they give it to patients or use it for research I don't know... but I've been invited to do a "double red" donation next time (double the amount of red blood cells, but fluid replacement simultaneously.) I've been donating for decades, and am now above 60 pints. Good veins.

For a double red donation, you need to have your iron count a bit higher than for a regular donation. And you donate less frequently to allow time to regenerate and replace those red blood cells.

I also have the organ donor marking on my license. MS is not a "blood" disease.
First symptoms: 1970s Dx 6/07 Copaxone 7/07 DMD Free 10/11
Ignorance was bliss ... I regret knowing.

Author, Multiple Sclerosis, an Enigma
Old 08-01-2011, 01:03 AM
onlyairfare onlyairfare is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Washington State
Posts: 1,129
My experience with regard to blood donation is the same - it depends on where you are. Some regions allow MS patients to donate, while others say "We don't know what causes it, but it might be transmitted via transfusion, so we don't allow it."

I haven't heard anything one way or the other about organ donation, but it wouldn't surprise me if the same principle applied - we don't know for sure, so thanks but no thanks.

Maybe I will find out soon, as a co-worker needs a kidney transplant, and if she decides to look for a donor, I will be tested to see if I am eligible to donate for her.

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