Giving Plasma & The Acupuncture Bias

Recently I went with my friend Jordan to give plasma. I'd been toying with the idea for a long time and the night before after attending a rec league championship for one of my students Jordan had sold me on the idea. So I got ready. I psyched myself up for the process because, I'm not a fan of needles but, after doing some online research I felt like it was an important donation and that I could really help people by giving my plasma.

Jordan picked me up around 12 noon after I took my cat to the vet for her yearly check up. We went and picked up a few things and then headed to the donation center. I filled out the forms and waited with Jordan to give plasma. They measured my veins rating them both "yellow" and sent me back to sit down.

Finally after about an hour I was called into a little room and had my finger pricked for a protein/iron blood test. During this time the guy pricking my finger, who did a good job I didn't even feel it, asks me "Have you been to a doctor in the last month?" I asked him if the Chiropractor counted. He wasn't sure so he went in the back and asked about it then came back in and said, "The Chiropractor is fine, you don't have acupuncture done do you?" "Yes. I do." "Oh... when was the last time you had it done?" "Monday." "Oh..." After this "Oh" he threw my blood sample in the biohazard container. "I'm sorry man you can't give plasma."

I was a little ticked. I had just sat through and hour of forms and such only to find out I couldn't give plasma? I kept my cool and asked if he could explain to me why exactly I couldn't give because of acupuncture. Acupuncture is reatment of pain or disease by inserting the tips of needles at specific points on the skin.
He called a young lady in from the back who explained that acupuncture is considered by the F.D.A. as an alternative medicine source. Since this form of acupuncture uses needles that aren't necessarily approved by the F.D.A anyone undergoing acupuncture is not allowed to give plasma.

While I'm still not sure I completely understand the whole process I was wondering your thoughts on it. Anyone with a medical background have a better answer for me rather than, it's just not allowed? I'm just interested as to the reasons behind it.
Anyway thanks for journeying with me. : )

1 comment:

  1. The main issue the ban on acupuncture patients giving blood or blood products stems from a safety issue in regards to transmission of blood borne pathogens. The ban was initiated in 1992 when the FDA classified acupuncture needles as "investigational". In 1996, the FDA reclassified acupuncture needles to a class II device (considered safe and effective) but was restricted to single-use disposable needles. Per the article I referenced, the FDA was considering lifting the ban in 2002. Not all states currently regulate the practice of acupuncture, which may be why the ban is still in force for you.

    reference article: http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/mpacms/at/article.php?id=28008