From Providence, Rhode Island, USA:
Our local blood center lists the following exclusion for its donorsUse of bovine insulin after 1980, unless it is known that the source was not from the United Kingdom, results in a permanent deferral. The center also says that people with diabetes cannot donate bone marrow at all. Why are people with type 1 diabetes prohibited from donating blood or bone marrow?
The general rules for donating blood when one is taking insulin or other medication that may cause allergic reactions seem to apply. It is probably an archaic rule, especially with so many people using human synthetic insulin.
With possible concerns of mad cow disease (bovine encephalopathies), there may also be some general rules about avoiding any contact with beef product of any kind. Since bovine insulin might have some slow virus contamination, this would be a conservative recommendation to avoid any possible cow products of any kind.
Original posting 7 Aug 2001
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