Special considerations for blood donation.

Information about Zika Virus, Dengue Virus, and Chikungunya (CHIKV) Virus Outbreak

We want you to know information that is important for patients who may receive your blood and that may also be important to your own health.

Travel may put you at risk of getting infections not typically found in the United States. Of most concern at this time are tropical diseases caused by Zika, Dengue, and chikungunya viruses, which are transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. Although you may feel completely well and healthy at the time of your donation, you may still have been infected with Zika, dengue, or chikungunya virus during your travel and not feel anything.

In this situation, you may develop symptoms within the next two weeks including:

  • Fever 100F
  • Muscle and/or joint aches or weakness
  • Headache
  • Eye pain
  • A rash
  • Bleeding or easy bruising (unrelated to your blood donation)

If you have traveled to any island in the Caribbean during the two weeks before your donation, please wait until two weeks after your return to donate. Please speak to a staff person to reschedule your appointment.

If you develop an unexplained illness with two or more of the listed symptoms within the next two weeks, PLEASE see your doctor and notify us as soon as possible at (206) 398-5999. By doing so, you may prevent infecting a patient receiving a transfusion.

Information on Ebola

Due to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2015-16 and the disease being transmitted to US healthcare workers, we are asking a few additional questions before you donate:

  1. Have you had personal contact (at home or as a health care worker) in the last 28 days with anyone suspected of having an Ebola Virus infection?
  2. Are you being monitored by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for possible Ebola Virus infection?

If you answered “yes” to either question, please wait to donate until 4 weeks (28 days) after the contact, or until after the CDC has stopped monitoring you.

Please speak to a staff person to reschedule your appointment.

If you have additional questions or develop symptoms, PLEASE see your doctor and notify us as soon as possible at (206) 398-5999. By doing so, you may prevent infection of a patient who is receiving a transfusion.

Travel and Residence Outside the United States or Canada

Malaria is transmitted by the bite of mosquitoes found in certain countries, and may be transmitted to patients through blood transfusion. Blood donations are not tested for malaria because there is no sensitive blood test available for malaria.

Malaria transmission can occur through travel and residence in some areas. This exposure can sometimes defer donors from blood donation. If you have traveled and/or resided outside of the United States and Canada, your travel destinations will be reviewed during the screening process with trained collection staff.

If you have traveled or lived in a country with malaria-risk, we may require a waiting period before you can donate blood. This is because the disease can be transmitted a year later without symptoms

Your donation is important to us; please fill out Travel worksheet with your travel details when you donate. You may print the Donor Travel Worksheet and bring it with you to help in the assessment of your travel. You can call 425-656-3077 to speak with Collection Review specialist about your travel if you need assistance.

Information for All Donors About AIDS

The FDA requires all donors be given information on AIDS each time they donate blood. Please read this information carefully, even if you are a frequent donor, as some of the details may have changed since the last time you donated. Thank you for your cooperation.

AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is caused by HIV. HIV is spread mainly through sexual contact with an infected person OR by sharing needles or syringes used for injecting drugs.

HIV/AIDS Risk Behaviors and Symptoms

DO NOT DONATE IF YOU:

  • The signs and symptoms of “AIDS” include the following:Persons with clinical or laboratory evidence of AIDS virus infection.
  • Any man who has had sex with another man in the past 12 months, even once.
  • Present or past users of intravenous drugs.
  • Men and women who at any time have engaged in sex for money or drugs.
  • Individuals who have had sex within the last 12 months, even once, with any person meeting the above descriptions.
  • Individuals who have had a positive test for syphilis in the last 12 months.
  • Persistent night sweats, cough, shortness of breath or diarrhea.
  • Unexplained continuous fevers (Temperature greater than 100.5° F) for more than 10 days.
  • Unexplained weight loss of more than 10 pounds.
  • Swollen lymph nodes lasting more than one month.
  • Purple spots typical of Kaposi’s sarcoma, on or under the skin or on mucous membranes.
  • Persistent white spots or unusual blemishes in the mouth.

If you have experienced any of these signs or symptoms or if you have engaged in the previously defined high risk activities, please notify the individual in the screening room and do not donate blood.

If, after donating, you think of any reason that your blood should not be used for transfusion, please phone the Bloodworks Northwest as soon as possible so that your blood can be discarded. You will be given post donation instructions and phone numbers for the Blood Center after you donate blood.

If You Want an AIDS Test

You should not donate blood just to get an AIDS test. If you want to be tested for AIDS, you must not donate blood. For information on testing and locations, you can contact the following:

  • Your local health department.
  • The National Information Line for AIDS: 1-800-342-AIDS
  • Your own physician

Infectious Disease Testing

Your blood donation will be tested for various infectious agents, including HIV and hepatitis. This testing is done to prevent contamination of the blood supply. Some of the tests may be investigational (research) tests. Any blood testing positive will not be used for transfusion. You will be notified of any test results that are of importance to your health or that affect your eligibility to donate. To better interpret and understand the results of these tests, it may be necessary to contact you for follow-up testing. All donor records are strictly confidential. However, Washington state law requires that the Blood Center report to the local health department the names of all persons with confirmed positive tests for certain infectious agents. Donor records may be reviewed by regulatory agencies and manufacturers of donor tests; in the latter instance, donor identification is concealed.

Please remember, it is not possible to get any disease by donating blood.

Your gift of blood, time or money saves lives.