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Concerns mount for elderly as fewer Japanese under 40 donate blood

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I was turned away a few years back when I wanted to donate my blood because of a cow disease 20 years ago (I'm Belgian). I'm O- and can litteraly donate to anyone but if you keep being picky then it's your fault if you have shortage.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

California high schools started blood donation days for 16 year old students with parent permission and 17 or older four times a year. Competition is organized for clubs and sports teams by student government. Certificates are awarded for quantities (one gallon.) It has been a success for 30 years.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It would help that it remove the restriction on the upper age requirement which has no basis on science or anything else but outdated stereotypes.

In the US, There is no upper age limit for blood donation as long as you are well with no restrictions or limitations to your activities.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Japantime

I have heard that they don’t accept blood from foreign citizens as well as Japanese people who have lived in the U.K.

I have heard the same thing. In addition there is a questionnaire that everyone needs to fill out, and that asks if you visited the UK during some period of time which I don't remember.

It would probably help if the Japanese Red Cross would make a better effort and outreach to foreigners living in Japan who wish to donate blood. The rules are way too ambiguous creating way too much confusion.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Japantime

I have heard that they don’t accept blood from foreign citizens

Need to update previous and J-today does not have an edit function - Umm, JT fix it.

This is completely false, I am going on #16 the times I have donated blood while living in Japan. It can be a little cumbersome at first, but the staff are alway kind and appreciative.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Can European give blood ?

I mean, it was a rule, and I think it is still in place, the people who live over six months in Europe during the 90s, the mad cow disease period, can not give blood. It is for all nationalities, including Japanese, but unless we are European, there is no way to check. Does someone know ?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

used to donate regularly as I am AB neg. , which flows through the tubes of only about 0.05 % of the J population. so... not in great demand, but also, very small supply, so they are always 'advertising' for donors. however, when I hit 70 they told me I'm "too old", even though I'm healthier than most people half my age....

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Too bad they do not want my disease-free blood, but if I ever need an operation I will ask them to store my blood just for me.

When I had an operation the hospital took a couple of bags of my blood. In the end, it wasn't needed but I don't know if they were donated to the blood bank or destroyed. Probably destroyed.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

British foreigners can donate blood if they were not living in the UK during the mad cow disease.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Blood donations are very low.

"The total number of blood donors in Japan amounted to nearly 5.1 million people in 2021. Out of the number of donors, about 64.7 percent donated 400 mL, 32.8 percent made apheresis donations, and 2.5 percent donated 200 mL."

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I can only talk about my personal experience as a Brit when I tried to donate but refused because of BSE. Never tried again.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

According to a reliable native-Japanese source, many people (including medical professionals) believe that "Japanese blood is too thin for donation".

What BS

3 ( +4 / -1 )

According to a reliable native-Japanese source, many people (including medical professionals) believe that "Japanese blood is too thin for donation"...

Either sarcasm, or provide something more to support an anecdotal equivalent to "I read it on the internet, so it must be true."

2 ( +3 / -1 )

My American father was infected with hepatitis C from a contaminated blood transfusion and had to live with it for years.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

But as a foreigner (40) year blood donor, when I moved from Okinawa to mainland, they refused to accept my donation.

I had been donating in Okinawa to the point I earned a Silver Pin Red Cross award.

Good luck

1 ( +4 / -3 )

My blood is A-

When I worked for the state department the bases here really wanted my blood.

But when I go to blood donation centers here on the economy they tell me sorry, we do not want your blood. So I question them about negative and positive Rh factors and the workers do not even know what it means. I am sure the doctors do.

Too bad they do not want my disease-free blood, but if I ever need an operation I will ask them to store my blood just for me.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japanese were given HIV-tainted blood.

"In the 1980s, between one and two thousand hemophilia patients in Japan contracted HIV via contaminated blood products. Controversy centered on the continued use of non-heat-treated blood products after the development of heat treatments that prevented the spread of infection."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Please expand on your comment, "Quick way to lose weight". I am sure others do not understand it either. Thanks

A pint of blood is at least one pound.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If you are O-, you should consider having some of your blood stored regularly in case you need it for an accident or surgery.

You can only receive O- and it is very rare in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

According to a reliable native-Japanese source, many people (including medical professionals) believe that "Japanese blood is too thin for donation"...

This should be too ridiculous to be believable, unfortunately it isn't.

Many people try to donate blood in Japan but in Japan donating blood like other things in Japan it's really complex.

Extremely unfortunate but these difficulties can be avoided visiting a center big enough (like in Akihabara), of course doing this by itself may be quite difficult for some people.

the people who live over six months in Europe during the 90s, the mad cow disease period, can not give blood. It is for all nationalities, including Japanese, but unless we are European, there is no way to check. Does someone know ?

The last time I went it was just a list of places and not the whole of Europe (obviously UK included).

I have heard that they don’t accept blood from foreign citizens as well as Japanese people who have lived in the U.K.

Foreigners can donate blood the same as Japanese, and only those that lived during a certain period of time in the UK can't donate. According to the site of the Red Cross the restriction is for those that lived for one month or more in UK between 1980 and 1996, or for 6 months or more between 1997 and 2004

https://www.jrc.or.jp/donation/information/detail_02/

0 ( +3 / -3 )

There are risks that are impossible to evaluate, so the only realistic measure to avoid those risks is to refrain from accepting some kind of donations.

I would agree with this measure if :

a) there was no shortage of blood donation.

b) there was scientific evidence suggesting there is a link between CJD and infectious disease transmission through blood.

I still maintain that having some blood donation with close to inexistent risk is better than having no donations.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wonder if vaccinated blood is kept separate from pure blood, in donations, as well as in use?

There is no such thing as "pure blood", nor a reason to keep vaccinated and unvaccinated people blood separated, fortunately medical institutions do not need to take into account these kind of antiscientific beliefs to work.

I would agree with this measure if :

a) there was no shortage of blood donation.

b) there was scientific evidence suggesting there is a link between CJD and infectious disease transmission through blood.

a) "alleviating" the shortage by a tiny amount while increasing the risk (including reputational) is not a winning proposition. This is specially important in Japan since the authorities have always justified much more easily damage to public health by not acting on time (like delaying approval of drugs or vaccines) than by acting "too soon".

b) there is enough evidence to consider blood transfusions a risk for transmission, even without a clear link public health authorities no longer have the freedom to ignore the risk since they would have to assume the responsibility in case of anything happening,

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/3/2/97-0208_article

0 ( +2 / -2 )

At Redemption:

Please expand on your comment, "Quick way to lose weight". I am sure others do not understand it either. Thanks

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japanese were given HIV-tainted blood

As another commenter said, blood (and derived products) are terribly inadequate for the modern standards of safety and efficacy, it is risky, expensive, difficult to obtain, impossible to escalate production, etc. etc. Unfortunately there is still nothing that can replace it completely even when a lot of research has been done to that purpose.

One of the most important risks is that unethical companies can make a whole mess of the distribution of blood as it happened in Japan with Green Cross as you mention, which is part of the reason why Japanese authorities like the PMDA are so slow in allowing new things to hit the market, or even to be tested in clinical trials.

A pint of blood is at least one pound.

But you recover half of that just by drinking water.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Same here

Irish O negative and they won't take my blood

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Here are the rules - anyone living in Europe, UK included, for more than one month after 1980, is not eligible:

https://wa-magazine.com/en/living-in-japan/medical/donate-blood-in-japan/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have donated my blood 2wice in Germany but not yet in the UK where I am living right now. I think the only stipulation in the UK is that one has to have been a resident for 6 months or more, plus you do not get paid. I cannot give any here at present because of an ongoing serious illness.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

but if you keep being picky then it's your fault if you have shortage.

There are risks that are impossible to evaluate, so the only realistic measure to avoid those risks is to refrain from accepting some kind of donations.

Testing for every kind of possible infectious disease would consume a huge amount of money (not to mention the donated blood) so it can't be done, because of that people that traveled outside of the country recently can't donate. CJD can't be tested with enough sensitivity to eliminate the risk, and people can transmit the disease even when asymptomatic for a long time. That is why donations from people with a realistic (even if low) chance of being infected can't donate.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

 I can only guess that the risk of infection is uniform in the population anyway and will not be increased by a transfusion.

Mostly this, but one extra complication is that if any person in Europe gets CJD it would be very difficult to link that to a blood transfusion. But in Japan? one case would be all it takes to immediately blame it on the blood unless all people with even a tiny amount of risk are disqualified from donating.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The number of under-40s who have donated blood in Japan in the last decade has declined 33 percent, according to data from the Japanese Red Cross Society, posing a concern as the country's population rapidly ages.

The young are already being drained and financially burdened by rentier boomers.

Make it pay.

People in other nations make it through college and zero capital youth by the donation of precious bodily fluids.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

I have heard that they don’t accept blood from foreign citizens as well as Japanese people who have lived in the U.K.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

The entitled seniors in Japan are bleeding this country dry both literally and figuratively.

Fing agreed. It is kind of hard not to feel resentment at this point.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Quick way to lose weight.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

British foreigners can donate blood if they were not living in the UK during the mad cow disease.

So British in Japan who lived in U.K. during Mad Cow can't give blood in Japan? Is that what you mean?

I also heard from the same source:

no cure for syphilis

and

no hospitals in the Tokyo area require vaccine proof for visits

But the source was also wrong about those points.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Definitely can’t give blood here if you resided in certain countries at a certain time. I’m not allowed to nor my ex or my current partner due to those rules.

Wonder why they go so OTT with certain things here, I mean it daft when there’s a lock of donors isn’t it.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Many people try to donate blood in Japan but in Japan donating blood like other things in Japan it's really complex.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2012/07/10/how-tos/complex-rules-in-place-for-safetys-sake-but-red-cross-still-wants-your-blood/

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Blood transfusion is the kind of archaic thing we need to pour every effort to find another way, frankly speaking, unless you have a friend or relative in this kind of situation, not too many people are keen to go donate blood, get weakened, etc. some if not most people are also afraid of needles. Same thing for bone marrow donation. There will be a time we will have our own lab-created unlimited supply of blood.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

According to a reliable native-Japanese source, many people (including medical professionals) believe that "Japanese blood is too thin for donation"...

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

I wonder if vaccinated blood is kept separate from pure blood, in donations, as well as in use?

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

The entitled seniors in Japan are bleeding this country dry both literally and figuratively.

And they still won’t let the youth have any Halloween fun.

-10 ( +8 / -18 )

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