Patient survey New patient education video Facebook Twitter www.onxlti.com
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 36

Thread: Donating blood while on coumadin

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Imlay City, Michigan
    Posts
    1,534

    Default Donating blood while on coumadin

    I have enjoyed donating blood for decades. I finished donating my sixth gallon in Michigan about two months before heart surgery, in addition to what I donated in Illinois and Wisconsin previously. While in college a bunch of us would walk down together and donate, kid the nurses, enjoy the free food (which was better than the cafeteria), and walk back to school together. When I have donated blood in the past, I've always felt like I was young again, sharing that college experience.
    Now that I'm on coumadin forever, I'm told that Red Cross doesn't want my blood. I haven't yet pursued that question to the end with them. Probably they don't want my blood because they can't use blood that won't clot quickly on someone who's losing blood rapidly. But there is still doubt in my mind. Perhaps they don't want my blood because they're afraid that I won't stop bleeding after I donate. Does anyone know for sure? Is it that they don't want my blood, or is it that they're ignorant about coumadin?
    We have our next local blood drive a month from tomorrow, I hope to have the time to go down anyway, but I hesitate to take up a Red Cross nurse's time with my question.
    Jim
    Imlay City, Michigan
    AVR 11-9-01, St. Jude valve
    DOB 5-18-55

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    upstate New York
    Posts
    9,897

    Default

    As far as I know, you cannot give blood while on Coumadin. I know that Joe can't.

  3. #3

    Default

    I don't know the answer to that question. I used to donate blood as well and was told flat out that I could not donate blood anymore. I was not given a reason as to why, I just assumed it was because of being on coumadin and I never questioned them further on it. If you find an answer, let me know.

    Take Care!
    Gail
    God Bless!
    Ascending Aortic Dissection & Anuerysm Repair 9/2002
    AVR 9/2002 (age 34 when diagnosed and had surgery)
    Dr. Svennson (Cleveland Clinic Foundation)
    My DOB is 08/01/1968

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Mesa, Arizona in the good ole USA
    Posts
    1,213

    Default Out of luck Jim!

    I know how you feel Jim - I used to donate regularly and now cannot. The only way we coumadin folks will ever be able to donate blood is to lie on the little interview because they will NEVER let coumadin taking folks give blood. So, what this means is that we must watch from afar while others get the blessings for helping out with blood donations. We are just gonna have to donate something else I guess. Maybe time, money, or a kidney or something
    -----------------------------------
    Hank in Arizona
    Founder of ValveReplacement.org

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,334

    Default

    I may be having surgery in the near future, 'non heart related'. My internist urged me to consider banking away a minimum of three pints. Even on the Coumadin..... they informed me I can do what is called a directed donation to myself. This really surprised me. Coumarians cannot donate to the general public. When and if I get to the point of carrying such out....I will post my findings.

    I had cardiac clearance to donate to myself prior to me MVR.. Other than the valve, my heart function is perfect. Guess it depends on the condition of your heart if they will allow you to donate at all.
    All the best,
    LuvMyBirman :)
    MVR, 3/99

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado
    Posts
    3,677

    Default

    I have had several people do what Gina is planning, donating blood ahead of time for their own surgery. The local blood bank wants the INR to be below 2.0 before they will accept it. One time the INR was 2.1 and they called the pathologist who accepted it.

    As far as I know, they will not accept a general donation from someone on warfarin.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Sarasota, FL
    Posts
    1,025

    Default

    Interesting. My local Red Cross blood bank told me I could donate blood as long as I have written permission from my cardiologist. They told me that the Coumadin wasn't a problem. Anybody have any actual solid scientific info?

    Mark
    "It doesn't get easier, you just get faster" - Greg LeMond


    Mark U in Sarasota. FL
    Congenital Bicuspid Aortic Valve
    27mm St. Jude, 12-15-00

  8. #8
    McCln Guest

    Default Mark

    Weren't you listening, it is medically impossible to donated blood that does not clot properly. You do not need to be a rocket scientist to know this informtion from the sources is correct. We all would love to donate blood as much as we want to, but as long as the blood can't clot properly, we can't donate. Coumadin and ecotrin is the culprit because our blood is thinner now also. You all take care.

    Caroline
    09-13-01
    Aortic valve replacement
    St. Jude's valve

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Sarasota, FL
    Posts
    1,025

    Default

    Caroline,
    I was stating a fact. The Red Cross here in Sarasota told me that I could donate blood with my doctor's permission and if I told them that I was on Coumadin at the time I donated.
    I was asking if anybody had any hard, factual scientific reference to confirm or deny that this was accurate.

    I certainly do not appreciate the sarcastic tone of your reply.

    Mark
    "It doesn't get easier, you just get faster" - Greg LeMond


    Mark U in Sarasota. FL
    Congenital Bicuspid Aortic Valve
    27mm St. Jude, 12-15-00

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    upstate New York
    Posts
    9,897

    Default

    Take a look at this link re: donating blood.

    http://www.redcross.org/services/bio...ml#medications

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Sarasota, FL
    Posts
    1,025

    Default

    Thanks for the link Nancy. I'm going to ask the local blood bank about it. Like I said earlier, they didn' t have any problem with me donating, nor did my doctor. Of course, maybe somebody down the line threw it away.
    At least I got some free orange juice and a cookie...

    Mark
    "It doesn't get easier, you just get faster" - Greg LeMond


    Mark U in Sarasota. FL
    Congenital Bicuspid Aortic Valve
    27mm St. Jude, 12-15-00

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Sarasota, FL
    Posts
    1,025

    Default

    Yikes! I spent about three months a year in England, Holland and Germany on business for about five years prior to my surgery.
    They probably take my blood straight the toxic waste dump with all the used motor oil and anti-freeze!

    Mark

    "It doesn't get easier, you just get faster" - Greg LeMond


    Mark U in Sarasota. FL
    Congenital Bicuspid Aortic Valve
    27mm St. Jude, 12-15-00

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Imlay City, Michigan
    Posts
    1,534

    Default

    Nancy, thanks much for the link which says, "Coumadin, heparin or other prescription blood thinners- you should not donate since your blood will not clot normally. If your doctor discontinues your treatment with blood thinners, wait 5 days before returning to donate."
    However, my question still remains: Is this because they don't want me to bleed to death
    OR
    Because they won't give my blood to anyone?
    The answer on the link still seems ambiguous. However, if Red Cross clearly says they don't want my blood, I suppose that settles it, even if I don't know why.
    Jim
    Imlay City, Michigan
    AVR 11-9-01, St. Jude valve
    DOB 5-18-55

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    upstate New York
    Posts
    9,897

    Default

    Jim-

    From what Joe has said re: blood donations (he's been on Coumadin for 25 years), they can't use any blood with anticoagulation in it because it would pose a danger for the person receiving it. Coumadin, if stopped, would clear the body in a few days, so I guess that's why the 5 day waiting period after discontinuation of Coumadin and the other anticoagulants.

    If it were you bleeding to death, all you Coumadiners would do that every time you went to the lab.

    When Joe had his total bleedout after his gallbladder surgery, he needed 30 units of blood products to stop the bleed. Imagine if any of that had anticoagulation in it. He'd be gone.

    But ask your blood center, maybe they have another way of looking at it.

  15. #15
    Gisele Guest

    Default I donated to myself...

    About 8-10 years ago (on coumadin now for 20+ years), and prior to surgery my gyn had me go in and donate to myself. Now that poses the question, if they had the need to use it, it wouldn't it be anitcoagulated? I was admitted prior to surgery and put on heparin. Therefore, is there some type of filtering they can do with the blood to remove the anticoagulants??? Do they just take the platelets??? I am not really sure what they did to my blood. I guess I should have asked.

    Gisele

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado
    Posts
    3,677

    Default

    No filtering will remove the anticoagulants. What you might have done was held the warfarin a day or two to get your INR below 2.0.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Rockville, MD
    Posts
    928

    Default

    Bumping this up, as I was going to get swabbed for possible donation for a hodgkins cancer patient. Still going to go get swabbed to see if the type matches as we are not related, but if it does I wonder if I could donate. Lots of great info here.
    My surgery was on 3/27/2012 at Suburban Hospital, MD by Dr. Michael Siegenthaler and his team from NIH Heart Center
    Ascending Aortic Aneurysm and Hemiarch repair with 24mm Vascutek gelweave graft and BAV replacement with On-X 25mm
    Buy this book before surgery and read it before and after - Coping with Heart Surgery
    My hospital stay post is here
    After surgery training to be strong and healthy

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    611

    Default

    Yeah it's the concern about blood that doesn't clot as fast as 'normal' blood going to someone else and the uncertainties that would cause in their treatment.

    On a different note, I tried to sign up to be a bone marrow donor (warfarin shouldn't affect that!) and was told no due to the impact the operation would have on me. I said that was really my concern, if I had to come off warfarin for a couple days just like I would if I had to have any other operation, that would be more than worth it to potentially save someone's life.

    Still, no. THAT I don't understand.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Rockville, MD
    Posts
    928

    Default

    @Ski Girl, that really sucks. I suppose we could go off warfarin for 2 days, donate, and go back on. In theory once our INR is under 1.5 we could donate no problem.
    My surgery was on 3/27/2012 at Suburban Hospital, MD by Dr. Michael Siegenthaler and his team from NIH Heart Center
    Ascending Aortic Aneurysm and Hemiarch repair with 24mm Vascutek gelweave graft and BAV replacement with On-X 25mm
    Buy this book before surgery and read it before and after - Coping with Heart Surgery
    My hospital stay post is here
    After surgery training to be strong and healthy

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    MO USA
    Posts
    433

    Default

    Although many people safely go off warfarin for necessary procedures, some do have stokes. This happened to my mil. The stroke was "minor" but being 85yo she never fully recovered. She was bridged at a well respected heart hospital in Milwaukee, "stuff happens"

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Somewhere over the Rainbow!
    Posts
    951

    Default

    This is an interesting thread, my questions are how can we be donors after death? I had always thought about donating my organs, scratch the heart, no one could use it, but I have other healthy organs that give the gift of life. I am asking my cardio about this at my February appointment!
    AVR-November 14, 2007
    23mm On-X Prosthetic Heart Valve
    Home Test since Jan 2008, Coagucheck XS
    "Everyone has a best friend during each stage of life-only a precious few have the same one."
    By: Unknown

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Rockville, MD
    Posts
    928

    Default

    LucyLou, a very interesting point. I am a donor on my driver's license as well, I am curious what your cardio says.
    My surgery was on 3/27/2012 at Suburban Hospital, MD by Dr. Michael Siegenthaler and his team from NIH Heart Center
    Ascending Aortic Aneurysm and Hemiarch repair with 24mm Vascutek gelweave graft and BAV replacement with On-X 25mm
    Buy this book before surgery and read it before and after - Coping with Heart Surgery
    My hospital stay post is here
    After surgery training to be strong and healthy

  23. #23
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    357

    Default

    I donated through American Red Cross and National Institute of Health (NIH) Blood Banks for years before going on Warfarin. I also donated through American Red Cross Research Donor program, where the blood is used for research and the requirements for donation are not as stringent. From my inquiries post op it appears that none of these are interested in your blood as long as you're on Warfarin. I also inquired with the Armed Services Blood Program as they had a blood drive where I work, and they are also not interested as long as you're on Warfarin. What I have been told is that you have to be off Warfarin for 30 days before they'll take your blood.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	P1010278.jpg 
Views:	43 
Size:	56.2 KB 
ID:	9071  
    Dan
    AVR 06/05/07, On-X 21mm Aortic Valve, Dr. Ammar S. Bafi, Washington Hospital Center, Wash, DC. And Medtronic Model ADDR01 Pacemaker.
    Pre-Op: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aqjVayhcPY
    Surgery: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RQSHbqGsTI
    Post-Op (hospital):http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76FLYbYNpEA
    Post-Op (out of hospital): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RK9NpGr2-s
    Recovered: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l39ahBFGnuk

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    37

    Default

    I registered as a bone marrow donor around 18 months ago and had to remove myself from that and the blood donor register after my MMVR in June '12.

    I'm hopeful, being young and generally fit and healthy, that at some point in the future maybe medications or criteria will change and I'll be able to donate. It's extremely frustrating that the same life event that underlined mortality and made me more determined to help others is the exact same reason I can no longer do that.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,699

    Default

    The issue, as I understand it, is not that you will bleed out when you are giving blood, but that there may be management problems with the blood recipient. (For example, consider a patient with impaired liver function who normally has a high INR; or a patient who received heparin during surgery -- adding blood with a high INR/residual warfarin could cause an uncontrollable bleed. The risk of using blood from a person who is receiving warfarin may be too high to administer to patients requiring donated blood).

    If you want to give to help people (and blood is one of the things that should be fairly easy to donate - if we could), perhaps you can give some volunteer time at a clinic or shelter, where your time will do a lot of good?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •