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Chrismoody
11-12-2007, 11:58 PM
In relation to the thread titled How much testing can they do on donated organs? (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=443330) several points are brought up regarding diseases and controlled substances in the blood.

This reminds me of one urban legend and one question..

The first, cocaine (sorry if I ruined the show listed in the thread for anyone) stays in your system enough to be tested for something like a year. If that patient hadn't died of overdose... instead say... a traumatic brain injury.. Would they turn down her organs because a couple months ago she had used cocaine?

And a question:
If someone had AIDS would they tell the person at the time of testing (or if they found out later that afternoon, say)? I know full STD tests take several weeks to return.. but blood is pretty important to get out there fast. How soon would the people at the lab know of a positive sample? Would they even tell the person who donated it?

cormac262
11-13-2007, 12:21 AM
Have no idea about your cocaine organ donor.

As for blood, I don't have any idea how long it takes to test samples, but I would be very surprized if they didn't notify the donor that they had HIV (or hepatitis, or anything else they test for). I suppose it may vary from blood bank to blood bank, but the local San Diego blood bank would certainly inform the donor if something came up in the tests. If for no other reason, to have the donor have their blood tested again.

Chrismoody
11-13-2007, 12:30 AM
I only donated once (shame on me, I know.. I had many opportunities to do so and didn't since then).. and that was some time ago (probably 3 years ago).

I don't remember them checking my ID or getting my phone # or anything like that.

How would they have contacted me?

(this is all hypothetical, trying to see how the system works, I am 100% sure I do not have an STD)

Chrismoody
11-13-2007, 12:31 AM
oh, I forgot to mention.. I may have forgotten if they did check my ID or not.. Its just that I don't recall (three + years ago).

And I'm from New York State, if that has anything to do with it.

Inner Stickler
11-13-2007, 12:49 AM
If someone had AIDS would they tell the person at the time of testing (or if they found out later that afternoon, say)? I know full STD tests take several weeks to return.. but blood is pretty important to get out there fast. How soon would the people at the lab know of a positive sample? Would they even tell the person who donated it?According to the Red Cross website: (http://www4.givebloodgivelife.org/donors/common/)If something is wrong with my blood, will I find out?

If something is found in your blood, you will be contacted by letter or, in rare situations, by phone. You will be provided with your test results and an explanation of what those results mean. This may be useful should you want to consult your doctor. You or your doctor may call the Red Cross if you have questions about these results.

I do not know how long this would take.

Also, just for fun, here (http://www4.givebloodgivelife.org/medical/testing/) is a list of what they test for.

mawktheone
11-13-2007, 04:07 PM
well im not sure about america cause I was banned from giving blood when I lived there (cause im irish?!? racists!)

but i donate whenever i can here, but on the huge list of questions you have to answer everytime (worst part really) they specifically ask if youre donating blood to get a free HIV test. so i presume they DO screen the blood

outlierrn
11-13-2007, 05:21 PM
well im not sure about america cause I was banned from giving blood when I lived there (cause im irish?!? racists!)

but i donate whenever i can here, but on the huge list of questions you have to answer everytime (worst part really) they specifically ask if youre donating blood to get a free HIV test. so i presume they DO screen the blood



Irish is a race??

mawktheone
11-13-2007, 06:25 PM
Irish is a race??


well not to brag... but we are pretty much the best race ever.

and so as not to have gone off topic... turns out a buddy of mine never knew he had hepB until he donated blood..

that wasnt a fun day for him

mnemosyne
11-13-2007, 10:16 PM
http://www.hivtest.org/subindex.cfm?FuseAction=FAQ#tests

Blood clinics do rapid testing; a quick check for certain anti-bodies or other markers that indicates "positive" results in the blood/tissue being rejected for donation, and a call/letter to the donor to recommend a more accurate, more thorough testing. "Negative" results clear the blood for donation. I think, while a false positive is possible, it is highly unlikely to have a false negative result. I also think that false positive donors become banned from donation, since they just can't afford to take any chances.

Nunavut Boy
11-13-2007, 11:02 PM
The cocaine thing: First off, if the donor had died from some injury they would have no reason to test for drugs in the first place. I don't know for sure, but I would be very surprised if they routinely checked for that sort of thing in organ donors. Second, cocaine, IIRC, is only detectable for a few days before it is flushed from your body as it is not fat-soluble.

Chrismoody
11-13-2007, 11:45 PM
false positive donors become banned from donation, since they just can't afford to take any chances.

This is true.. My mom tested positive for.. what was it.. A Hep virus, I believe.. A second test third and fourth test all proved to be negative.

She can't donate blood.

bbs2k
11-14-2007, 03:07 AM
And a question:
If someone had AIDS would they tell the person at the time of testing (or if they found out later that afternoon, say)? I know full STD tests take several weeks to return.. but blood is pretty important to get out there fast. How soon would the people at the lab know of a positive sample? Would they even tell the person who donated it?If your blood tested positive for any of the infectious diseases we test for then a doctor would contact you personally to report the results and possibly help in any further testing as well as treatment. To nitpick, a doctor would never call you and say "You have AIDS", but they would inform you that you have tested positive for HIV.

We screen every unit that we collected, and testing for HIV and hepatitis (and many other diseases) usually have a 2 day turn around time. If you test positive with the screening test (usually some form of ELISA method), then we conform testing with a Western Blot test. Also, I believe it is now a fereral law that all units get NAT testing for HIV (a PCR-type of test, I think) as well, even if the screening test is negative.

When you have tested negative for all the infectious diseases we look for you will recieve a nice letter, and possibly a card, in the mail in about two weeks informing you of your blood type and also letting you know when you can donate again.



Regarding the cocaine question. I'm not a doctor, so I'm a little less sure how to answer that one. I may take a shot a little later if I can look into it a bit more. One thing I can definatively say is that yes, things in your blood that you donate can be passed on into the person being transfused. That sentence came out bad. What I mean to say is that we have seen allergic transfusion reactions. Meaning if you eating a full course of Shrimp Scampi and then go to donate soon after, if the person recieving your blood is allergic to shrimp they really can have a reaction to it.

brickbacon
11-14-2007, 10:44 AM
We screen every unit that we collected, and testing for HIV and hepatitis (and many other diseases) usually have a 2 day turn around time. If you test positive with the screening test (usually some form of ELISA method), then we conform testing with a Western Blot test. Also, I believe it is now a fereral law that all units get NAT testing for HIV (a PCR-type of test, I think) as well, even if the screening test is negative.

I have a friend that states certain types of HIV are not tested for, or are tested less rigorously because of the testing available and the relative rarity of the type of HIV in the US. I am assuming she is talking about HIV-2 and HIV-1, groups N and O. Is this true? She states that the reason they exclude people who have lived in Africa is because their testing will not "catch" the prevalent types of HIV found there.

Slypork
11-14-2007, 12:16 PM
well im not sure about america cause I was banned from giving blood when I lived there (cause im irish?!? racists!)

but i donate whenever i can here, but on the huge list of questions you have to answer everytime (worst part really) they specifically ask if youre donating blood to get a free HIV test. so i presume they DO screen the bloodYou were probably turned down because of Mad Cow. Same for me (I was in Germany in the 80s).
Currently, donations are banned from:
Anyone who has lived in the U.K. for three months or longer since 1980
Anyone who has lived anywhere in Europe for six months since 1980
Anyone who has received a blood transfusion in the U.K.
http://men.webmd.com/news/20030221/mad-cow-scare-linked-to-blood-shortage

WoodenTaco
11-14-2007, 01:27 PM
oh, I forgot to mention.. I may have forgotten if they did check my ID or not.. Its just that I don't recall (three + years ago).

And I'm from New York State, if that has anything to do with it.
I donate blood every 8 weeks in New York. You have to give them contact information, and they tell you they will notify you if you test positive for stuff.

mawktheone
11-14-2007, 04:26 PM
You were probably turned down because of Mad Cow. Same for me (I was in Germany in the 80s).
Currently, donations are banned from:
Anyone who has lived in the U.K. for three months or longer since 1980
Anyone who has lived anywhere in Europe for six months since 1980
Anyone who has received a blood transfusion in the U.K.
http://men.webmd.com/news/20030221/mad-cow-scare-linked-to-blood-shortage


yeah I knew about that. what Bugged me was a 4 month ban when i came home. because id been to america.

apparently west nile virus is RAMPANT in california.. :dubious: