TL;DR - Went to donate plasma and the staff didn't know whether to document implants as piercings or surgery


I’m a blood donor, and I had a chat with the Red Cross folks about implants. What they told me essentially is, since it’s kind of like a mini-surgery of sorts, I couldn’t donate blood for 4 months after the implant job. Same as dental work essentially: apparently they want you to wait for fear that you might catch hepatitis and transmit it without knowing it.


Nice read and write up. I think you handled it great.

I do however disagree that it is unethical to not tell them. Just personal opinion.

Edit: but I agree with being open for normalization reasons.


Yup, pretty much echoes what they told me. I’d also have to wait four months after an install before I could donate again. Just to make sure I didn’t pick up anything nasty like hepatitis.

Thanks! Trying to get my writing legs back under me.

If you don’t mind, can you explain your position on it being not unethical? I’m curious.

Not telling them you had something done to you is not cool imho. You might be 100% sure whatever you did is not dangerous, but it’s not your call to make.

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Yep I donate platelets just had to wait as I would have a piercing, great right up BTW.

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NZ Blood Donor Rules

If you have recently had a tattoo or body piercing you cannot donate for 4 months from the date of the procedure. If the body piercing was performed by a registered health professional (e.g. a Pharmacist, GP etc.) and any inflammation has settled completely, you can donate blood after 12 hours.

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I actually went through the same thing back in March when donating plasma. The nurse was similar. A bit taken aback, but curious. She pondering how to classify it and mentioned some of the same points you made. Ultimately she classified it as a surgical procedure based on the medical definition of implant

To insert or embed an object or a device surgically

I have a feeling I’ll end up going through the process again when I inevitably get something new haha



Depending on wording, if they don’t ask for information specifically, I don’t give it, so I wouldn’t feel the need to disclose I had an implant/foreign body. I wouldn’t withhold it either if the form asked about it.

I just dont see how not giving them information they didn’t ask for is unethical.

Fair point. Also. Do you think they are going to treat your blood any differently once they take it from you?
They will test and process it the same way.

If I am not mistaken, the blood donor techs, do not require a medical degree here. So I also fail to see how they are qualified to decide also.

All I am getting at is. I the reason I don’t feel it is unethical to NOT tell them you have an implant is they didn’t seem to ask straight out about it. It would be too easy to have a question asking about medical devices and foreign devices. I would absolutely answer yes i have one.

I am just saying, based on this write up, I don’t agree.

None of that matters: they might as well do a rain dance and cast a magic spell at the blood pouch for all I know, it’s their rules and you chose to obey them when you chose to donate blood. Or said another way, don’t think: they’ll do it for you :slight_smile:

Okay then we have a misunderstanding here: here in Europe whenever I give blood, the questionnaire specifically has:

  • Do you have one or more artificial implant of any kind
    • When was the last one implanted?

I always answer yes (knee prosthesis, electrodes in my stomach, and my various RFID implants). When the date is less than 6 months away, I’m told to have a coffee for my troubles and go right on home.

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I agree. I am not advocating lying or hiding anything. I was just pointing out I didn’t agree, based on information presented, that it would be unethical.