Recently a patient told me she was disqualified from donating blood due to Rheumatoid Arthritis. I had never heard such a thing and got to work emailing the Red Cross and searching the website. Lots of good information on eligibility requirements can be found HERE. As long as a patient with a chronic illness is not on any prohibited medications and his/her disease is under good control, there is no contraindication to blood donation. There is quite a bit of information on the website regarding medical conditions, medications and travel. If you have any questions, I encourage you to spend some time on the site. I also received an email from a Red Cross Medical Officer, who informed me that a diagnosis of RA or SLE on its own would not prohibit someone from donating blood. So go ahead and give blood if you’d like. The photo above? That’s the lobby of my hospital last week during a blood drive. Sometimes you need a visual reminder that you wanted to get a blog post up!