Plasma Donation And AVM Surgery

Hi everyone! So happy to have signed up a few years ago...

Today, I had an appointment with Biolife to see about donating plasma! I was absolutely thrilled to do this, and have always wanted to donate. Everything was going great with interview, blood tests, etc, until the very end when they asked about surgeries, which is fine, but they had no file in their systems for whether or not an AVM surgery can or cannot allow you to donate. In other words, it just wasn't there! So, I left with a form to give to my doctor to fill out, to state whether or not she thinks it would be ok for me to donate. Odd! Surgery was fine, and I had no blood transfusions.
Has anyone else been through this or heard of this happening? It pretty much looks like everything is ok to do so, but it is just a matter of getting the go ahead.
I would LOVE to be able to donate, even blood, as I am O- :)

I found an old discussion which might some useful info…

I wish I cld donate but with all the meds and genetic auto-immune they don’t want my blood. My future son in law is a bio chemist and creates blood plasma for transplant patients. Great that he does what he loves so well for the good of everyone. Special field only few companies in the world do this.

Thanks for this link! Wow, and the man was from Fort Wayne too!
Thankfully I am not on any meds for anything, so hopefully this will help my case. No seizures either.

That's amazing...I didn't know that blood plasma could actually be created. God Bless him! We need more people like him!

It is a small world…my parents live in Fort Wayne! Many eons ago I graduated from Snider High School! I live in the Memephis area now!

I asked my AVM doctor, Dr. Suen if I could be a bone marrow donor and he told me NO! I am thinking since they still are unsure of what causes AVMs they would rather lean toward the side of caution.

Bummer! Ok...was afraid of that...

Yes! We live in Georgetown, right near Snider :D

My parents live on Vance Ave. I am very familiar with Georgetown!

I donated a few times post-craniotomy, and they the only problem they had was my medication. I now have epilepsy which keeps me from donating, but they’ll let you, I’d just call Red Cross and ask them about any medications you’re on & whether they can take blood on those medications.

I tried to donate plasma a few years ago and I was told no. The reason was the dura mater graft used in my craniotomy. That may not apply in your case though.

Yes, interesting. I don't technically have anemia, only when pregnant, but the iron levels at time of testing yesterday was on the low, but acceptable side...I totally see your point. I do get small bouts of dizziness, especially when not taking my iron...grrr. I can see this happening to me after donation.
I am convinced more and more it will be a no. They did tell me yesterday they would be concerned if they went ahead and allowed me to donate without doctor's approval. I actually found the doctor who performed the surgery 20 years ago online...I wonder if I should ask him. He's now a world famous plastic surgeon in New York, LOL. When he performed the surgery on me he was 38 and just starting out! Wow...
Thank you so much for your response. It is so good to have a network of people in the same boat! God Bless.

Interesting...this is also a possibility. They used a polymer, not sure what kind, to clot the vessels around the AVM before removal. It was to dissolve over a period of 20 years. I bet this would rule me out.
Oh I am so bummed. The more I look into it, the more it looks like a no. I just don't want to take a chance now, especially being almost anemic, etc...and with what they used. I hope someday this changes and that there is a way we can donate if we wish to.

I am still in treatment for mine. I work for a blood bank. I called our donor advocate and asked her about donating. I had called the Bone Marrow registry to see if I would still be eligble for that. I know how hard it is to find a match. I didn't want to be a match for someone and then be told I could not do it. This got me to thinking would I be eligble to give blood. But the answer was no. She said it was because I had a mass in my head. Until it was gone I would not be able to give blood again. I have given over 3 gallons. I miss doing it.

Make sure wherever you donate is a reputable organization. I would always check that the blood bank is AABB certified. The American Red Cross is non-profit and should be able to answer any questions. Many donor centers are For Profit and not very reputable.

As far as the Oneg blood - it is much more valuable donated as blood than as plasma. This is the blood that the hospitals always have to have plenty on hand for emergency transfusions for surgery, emergency admits, car crashes, GI bleeds, etc. Please consider donating around the holidays and summer especially as the blood supply is always critically low at these times. Of course, as long as your doctor gives the OK:) I am a clinical laboratory scientist and have over 24 years experience in blood bank.

The Red Cross or Americas Blood Centers (the two major blood banks supplying our hospitals with blood products) should not allow you to stipulate how the product is used, unless it is a directed donation for a named patient. The blood supply in this nation is very complex and managed on a hospital, local, regional, area and nationwide basis. Blood is shipped all over the country when need arises. That is why they all have to work together to make sure when there is a tornado in Oklahoma, a 16 car pile-up in New Jersey, fires in California, a shot gun victim in your local hospital ER - that we in the hospital blood banks pray we have enough supply to get us through the night. And this vast network of Donor Centers usually gets us through.

American Red Cross Blood Services is a totally separate entity from disaster relief and other American Red Cross services. Not the same purse, funding, volunteers or anything. Blood Services is their own separate not for profit business. They may share the same buildings but that is all. So please do not confuse your voluntary services, dollars, or blood donations between the two.

Americas Blood Centers (sorry I forgot to mention earlier) and American Red Cross Blood Services are the premier donor centers in the US.

Most of the for-profit plasma centers will sell your plasma for much-needed research and to pharmaceuticals companies for much-needed products for patients as well.

Also, whole blood is not even transfused any more. When you donate they will spin down your blood donation into packed cells, plasma (which is then frozen) or possibly cryoprecipitate. Maybe a few donor centers may also separate out platelets. However, most donor centers now favor Single donor platelets which is a separate donation process.

Just remember, blood donations are always needed, there is never enough! If there happens to be a little extra blood at one hospital or region or area, it is quickly transferred to another area that is in desperate need.

Spread the word - donate if you can and especially around the holidays and in the summer months! It will not go to waste! It'll make you FEEL GOOD!

Eileen, your words are so kind:) This link may be helpful. It is rather vague because the requirements constantly change and nothing is simple in the world of healthcare -right? You still have to go through the Q&A process every time. Again, I am not promoting the Red Cross. Anyone should make sure wherever they go is clean, the personnel are trained and knowledgeable about the process and the center is accredited or certified.

I'm sorry I cannot help you with the bone marrow transplantation questions. That is a whole different sub-specialty in the blood banking world. And a very, very complex world at that. Hmmm, interesting to think about though. Sorry, my little pea brain does not have that knowledge. And is that Resident Obama or President Obama in your reply?

Thank you all so much. Truly an education in this. I will find out for sure in the next few days, but it looks as if I can donate after all. Because the surgery was 20 years ago next week (!), they do not in fact see a risk. They are actually handling it as if it was a brain surgery done longer than 5 years ago, maybe because it was complications-free, no transfusions, not sure exactly. They are now waiting for the response from my GP on this. Interesting turn of events...Their director has been wonderful through this, keeping on top of it.
SO glad to have brought this out to the forefront here for us AVM survivors. I will keep everyone posted as to what the final outcome may be...