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The UK Blood Donation Ban In Ireland Will Be Lifted Next Month

Until now, anyone who lived in the UK between 1980 and 1996 for more than a year has been not allowed to give a blood donation in Ireland.

The ban was introduced in 2004.

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) has announced that the ban on those who lived in the UK for more than one year between 1980 and 1996 will be lifted next month. 

Until now, anyone who lived in the UK between that time for a cumulative period of more than one year was not allowed to give a blood donation in Ireland.

The ban had been in place over the potential risk of transmission of Variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (vCJD) and included residents of Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands.

vCJD is a type of brain disease of which symptoms are psychiatric problems, behavioural changes, and painful sensations. It's caused by eating beef from animals with bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

The prognosis is, on average, a 13-month life expectancy. 

While there have been four probable cases of transfusion transmission of vCJD – none of which were in Ireland – these occurred before blood services included the removal of white cells from donated blood in 1999. 

"The permanent deferral for a one-year residency in the UK was introduced in November 2004," the Irish Blood Transfusion Service said in a statement.

"This resulted in the loss of approximately 10,000 donors and has been a source of annoyance to those donors that they have not been able to donate since that date."

"The IBTS has to protect the patient who receives blood and this step was necessary at that time. The evidence now available allows the IBTS to overturn this deferral and reinstate those donors."

For those who may soon give blood due to the ban's removal, you can find out your eligibility to do so on their website

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