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AIBU to not declare psychiatrist appt when donating blood

(27 Posts)
ju810 Mon 08-May-17 21:36:24

So I am due to donate blood tomorrow.
I am also having some MH issues. I have previously declared taking ADs (GP prescribed) and that's been OK.
I am due to see a psychiatrist this week. I called the help line to check whether I could still donate (online says to call with MH queries), and she said that I should not donate and wait for outcome of appt.

I'm really disappointed. I've had these MH issues for a long, long time and donated with no problem. Now I'm taken the courage to ask for help to recover and I can't donate.

Would it be awful to just not tell them? I am on no other meds apart from the aforementioned ADs.

kali110 Mon 08-May-17 21:45:49

Why do ypu have to declare that you're seeing a psychiatrist after you've donated?

Casmama Mon 08-May-17 21:48:53

In the nicest possible way, this is not your decision to make.
The rules are in place to protect the recipient and the donor and whilst you might not understand them that doesn't justify breaking them.

Wait till after the appointment and donate next week.

StillDrivingMeBonkers Mon 08-May-17 21:50:03

If you look at the site it tells you why:

Mental Health

You may donate if you are able to fully understand and consent to the donation process and to the testing of your blood.Taking medication will not prevent donation as long as you pass our Haemoglobin test. As with all conditions an assessment will be made to your wellbeing each time you attend our donation session.

reallyanotherone Mon 08-May-17 21:50:47

As long as you declare your meds i cant see why you'd be told not to, unless they think it'll affect your mh?

As far as i recall they don't ask any questions about mh on the checklists, so it wouldn't even have occurred to me to bring it up, apart from the medication angle.

You could go along, answer the questions honestly, then if it comes up tell them you have the psych appt and see what they say.

Or give the psych dept a ring in the morning beforehand and see if they have any objection?

ju810 Mon 08-May-17 21:51:39

kali No, they ask you to declare medical stuff before you donate.

Camara It's hard for me to find suitable appt times. If it was just a matter of waiting until next week I would, but it'll be months before they come here again. It's something I do that makes me feel good about myself. I totally understand what you're saying though. It's what I need to hear.

Fruitcorner123 Mon 08-May-17 21:51:58

casmama haha donate next week!grin In my area if you have to cancel it's another 2-3 months before you can get another appointment. It's so frustrating because you can't give if you have a cold for example. However i would stick to their rules and just feel annoyed about it. You could probably email in a complaint or something.

ju810 Mon 08-May-17 21:54:22

I'm sure the questionnaire asks if you have any upcoming hosp appts.

ju810 Mon 08-May-17 21:56:57

On the Antidepressant Therapy page (which I just came across while trying to find the answer to my questions) is says "If you are attending hospital or seeing a psychiatrist please call the Donor Helpline on 0300 123 23 23". So that's what I did.

erinaceus Tue 09-May-17 07:19:36

Hi ju810

Yes, it would be awful not to tell them and to donate anyway. Please don't do that! I appreciate you might find this frustrating for you, but the guidelines are in place to protect the potential recipients of the donated blood.

Source: I work in a related field.

As Fruitcorner123 suggests, just stick to their rules and feel annoyed about it. If I were you I wouldn't even email in a complaint. It's hardly anyone's fault your psychiatrist's appointment and the blood donation session came in the wrong order for you. If this is an important issue for you, discuss it with your psychiatrist, and see if something different can be done in future.

ju810 Tue 09-May-17 08:54:34

Thank you erin. I know you are right and I fully intend to be honest.

I don't feel a need to complain, the rules are the rules and I guess they are quite vague online as it's very hard for them to make decisions without speaking to the donor.

I'll let you know how I get on.

It is an important issue for me so yes, something I may need to explore with the psychiatrist.

SafeToCross Tue 09-May-17 09:20:26

I would guess it is something to do with whether you have capacity to make treatment decisions, such as giving blood - which of course 99% or more of patients attending MH services do, but which is hard for the blood service to assess? It is just easier for them to say no than to risk taking blood from someone without capacity. Although quite why capacity is related to seeing a psychiatrist I am not too sure. I would imagine many people just don't disclose. They turned me away in the nineties because I fainted when they pricked my thumb grin and they decided I needed the blood more than they did. I am very grateful to people like you for taking the time and trouble to donate though, because I was a recipient when I had my dd2 (another reason I now can't donate, because I have had a transfusion). So flowers to you for caring, but carry on with a clear conscience because you had the thought and made the effort.

erinaceus Tue 09-May-17 11:22:01

I would guess it's to do with

- trace substances in the blood: alcohol and/or drugs, prescription or otherwise. This is the part that I know about from my professional life. Blood is complex and it's composition can be affected by many things.
- the use of blood donation as a form of self harm, weight loss, or compulsive caretaking. If the patient is neglecting themself, the last thing they need is to give a pint of themself away.

I am speculating wildly. It may be to do with capacity to consent as well. I think that this is absolutely the sort of thing one should bring up with one's psychiatrist. God knows I've brought up wackier things with mine...I support your thought and effort though. I am too squeamish to donate blood and commend those that do when it is appropriate for them to do so.

erinaceus Tue 09-May-17 11:23:05

its not it's

wonderwoo Tue 09-May-17 13:42:16

Thank you for taking the time and effort to donate blood. I have received donated blood twice in my life, and so can no longer donate, but am so grateful that people like yourself do so.

It doesn't answer your question, but I wanted to say thank you. If you don't get to donate this time, it cannot be helped, but I appreciate it is important to you to do so. Hopefully your psychiatrist will help.

ju810 Tue 09-May-17 15:23:57

I'm back. They felt it best for me not to donate today, but have deferred for a month. She was lovely. Understood me, explained in a kind and non-patronising way. Said that when I next come in I could ask to speak to a nurse when I sign in so I can find out straight away. I appreciate that.

So I got some Maltesers and came back to work.

I'm glad I went and spoke to someone.

kali110 Tue 09-May-17 17:45:44

I could see this putting some people off. It would me. I certainly wouldn't disclose, i just wouldn't then give blood.

ju810 Tue 09-May-17 17:56:25

Being a blood donor is an act of altruism and as such comes with a responsibility to be honest (yes, I appreciate my OP contradicts just that).
The fact I am under the care of secondary MH indicates I may not be thinking clearly and it may risk my own well-being to go ahead with donating.
They haven't sent me on my way, just delayed until I know exactly what my treatment will be.

kali110 Tue 09-May-17 19:38:33

I can understand that, i think it would put me off me off though.
People go to see a
Pschiatrists, doesn't mean they are not thinking clearly.
people may not want to divuluge this. It would certainly put me off.
I hope you can donate soon op!

AnxiousMunchkin Fri 12-May-17 22:04:20

I think it will just be while you are waiting for an initial assessment appointment, not just if you are under the care of a psychiatrist generally. I donated recently and answering the medical questions honestly meant I declared that I had increased my medication, had seen a psychotherapist for ongoing treatment in the past so many days, and some physical health stuff, none of which prevented donation. It's the waiting for assessment bit - you might not be stable or thinking clearly, or statistically present a higher risk if you are awaiting assessment.

OP well done for both asking for help and for doing what you can to donate when possible.

doricgirl Sat 13-May-17 00:59:20

I've had this and was told it was because donating can make you feel physically and/or mentally wobbly afterwards and if your mental health isn't stable it's more likely to impact negatively on you. Frustrating but I can see where they're coming from. Hope you can donate next time.

kali110 Sat 13-May-17 01:59:21

AnxiousMunchkin
Think it's unclear from ops post where it was an initial assessment.
Just think it would put a few people off. I probably wouldn't even declare it, or simply wouldn't give blood.

AnxiousMunchkin Sat 13-May-17 04:41:12

Well it's your choice and right not to donate if you don't feel comfortable with what the process entails, which includes pre-donation screening. The questions are simple- have you seen a HCP in the past few weeks, are you waiting for any treatment or test results, any medication etc. Physical and mental health are not treated seperately.

The screening process is confidential and in private with a qualified nurse (if you tick 'yes' on a form then the senior nurse comes to talk with you briefly). It is a medical procedure, so the same if I was completing a medical form at say the dentist or physio.

No one is obliged to donate, but it is in noones interest that you donate under false pretences.

Kali what are you worried might happen if you went to donate and answered the screening questionnaire honestly?

BBCNewsRave Sat 13-May-17 13:13:29

Anxious Kali what are you worried might happen if you went to donate and answered the screening questionnaire honestly?

I can't speak for Kali, but when I was almost turned away I was devastated. It's like a reminder you're not "normal", and a wasted journey when you feel you are trying to do something good.

JoshRogan Sat 13-May-17 16:12:37

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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