December 24, 2014

"The FDA must commit to building a bigger, safer blood supply through risk-based screening & have courage to set policies based on science."

Tweets Elizabeth Warren.

72 comments:

Big Mike said...

I'd call Elizabeth Warren a jackass, but the correct term for her gender is "jenny."

damikesc said...

...says the titular head of a political movement that wants to ban fracking despite a lack of any semblance of scientific evidence of its dangers.

...that wishes to ban GMO foods despiter the lack of evidence of dangers.

...that wishes to demand massive economic upheaval for climate change in spite of the lack of actual warming for about 18 yrs now, the increase in the ice caps, etc.

...that wishes to assume men and women being equal means that they are basically interchangeable, in spite of the clear biological differences in terms of strength, etc.

...that champions a claim of a 20% rape statistic for college women that isn't backed up by any actually legitimate evidence.

...that claims women receives less than men for IDENTICAL work in spite of a lack of evidence or logic involved.

...that believes that increased government regulation will make politicians LESS likely to be bought by interests.

Tell me more, Liz. Then tell me more of your Native American upbringing, please.

Louis said...

It annoys me so very greatly that politics would have anything to do with any of the FDA's policies.

tim maguire said...

She happens to be right on this issue. Broken clock, maybe, but she's still right.

Mitch H. said...

I was greatly surprised to hear recently that Isaac Asimov died of AIDS contracted from a contaminated blood transfusion, back in 1992. The family hid this fact from the public for ten years, supposedly because they were afraid of damage to his reputation.

There are many, many blocks to donating blood. Having visited subsaharan Africa, for instance. Living in Europe during the mad cow years. Risk factors are risk factors. Hell, I have been rejected three times for donation in the last year for high blood pressure, although somehow it never shows up as such in actual doctor's appointments. Shit happens, people, and life isn't always what we'd want of it.

iowan2 said...

Half of one percent? Less those in that group excluded for other reasons, cancer etc.

The left wants a fight, Nothing more

Big Mike said...

@iowan2, right on! The left loves to fight, especially when they can quote junk science.

Fritz said...

How many gays will stay celibate for a year to be able to donate blood?

I wouldn't.

mikee said...

Yet the leftists are still decrying the early AIDS era Red Cross policy of not using blood from gays in the US, due to HIV, while allowing its use overseas, where blood was in very short supply.

Because we should suffer 3rd world problems we can avoid, for some reason!

Because thinking two impossible things before breakfast doesn't make a leftist question anything about their beliefs.

gerry said...

PHS Guideline for Reducing Human
Immunodeficiency Virus, Hepatitis B
Virus, and Hepatitis C Virus Transmission
Through Organ Transplantation (page 251):


Donors who meet one or more of the following 11
criteria should be identified as being at increased risk
for recent HIV, HBV, and HCV infection. Each factor
listed reflects increased risk of all three pathogens as
an aggregate, as there is overlap of associated risk,
even though each factor does not convey risk from
all pathogens equally. The first six risk factors address
sexual contact; the definition of “had sex” refers to
any method of sexual contact, including vaginal, anal,
and oral contact:
• People who have had sex with a person known or
suspected to have HIV, HBV, or HCV infection
in the preceding 12 months
• Men who have had sex with men (MSM) in the
preceding 12 months

That's from the CDC, so is the science settled, or is Warren simply pandering to political supporters? Is there anything more recent than the federal government's own agency?

Bob Ellison said...

Stupid.

Bobber Fleck said...

But is the science "settled"? Do we a poorly worded and creatively interpreted survey that says 97% of scientists agree? What does a respected scientist like Al Gore have to say on this topic?

gerry said...

Oh, and I only included the first two bullet points from the report's list, which is date 2013.

Michael K said...

In 1993, I had a 10 level spine fusion done at UC, San Francisco. There was going to be a significant blood loss so I donated 8 units of my own blood to take up there. It was over about 6 weeks and I got a friend to give me Epogen to help my blood recover from all the donated units. If I was going to have surgery in San Francisco, I was bringing my own blood.

I suspect Warren might have similar thoughts about her own health.

Greg Hlatky said...

I haven't been able to give blood for many years because I lived in England for more than six months during a time when I might have been exposed to mad-cow disease. As far as I can see, I still can't. As I'm not part of a politically fawned-over group, will Sen. Warren go to bat for me too?

Barry Dauphin said...

Policies should also be based upon available resources. We could spend more money on just about everything.

gerry said...

This from Wikipedia, so I ask Michael K (who I think is an MD) if it is correct: "As of 2001, the risk of transfusion-acquired HIV in the US was approximately one in 2.5 million for each transfusion."

Thanks.

sdharms said...

fine, let Lizzy take blood in the future then, I will rely on relatives only if the need arises

gerry said...

I haven't been able to give blood for many years because I lived in England for more than six months during a time when I might have been exposed to mad-cow disease.

As I'm not part of a politically fawned-over group, will Sen. Warren go to bat for me too?


Only if you are an amenobovosexual.

Achilles said...

Synthetic Blood isn't far out. We should focus on that IMO. They already have some emergency IV treatments for blood loss that are more stabilizing and carry oxygen better.

Anonymous said...

Because I'm no longer in the majority and cannot make law through the legit means, I'm calling on a government bureaucracy to make shit up so I don't have to.

Next I'm calling on the EPA to make new lead regulations for bullets.

Big Mike said...

@eric, bite your tongue!

James Pawlak said...

Now the DNC and its co-actors (In the criminal justice sense) are waging biological warfare against the American People.

madAsHell said...

She is a proponent of Critical Science Theory. It isn't science unless she says so.

m stone said...

Blood supplies tend to dwindle just before election years.

Something about blood sucking?

Gahrie said...

So when did donating blood become a Right?

n.n said...

Said the woman who faithfully believes in the fantasy of spontaneous conception.

Michael K said...

"This from Wikipedia, so I ask Michael K (who I think is an MD) if it is correct:"

As far as I know it is correct. However, I got sued by the family of a patient whose life I had saved in 1984, before the test for HIV was available. He got 8 units of blood before I got his bleeding stopped. In 1993, he was diagnosed with HIV. Look up the statistics on the time interval between transfusion and diagnosis.

My malpractice carrier settled rather than face a jury. I had cared for his difficult illness for ten years before my hand was forced into surgery when he was 18. I continued to care for him for another nine years as he needed help for substance abuse (alcohol, but who knows ?) and mental retardation.

I took care of him and got other doctors to care for him inspite of the fact that he was Medicaid. He was suing the Red Cross for the blood transfusion but I got pulled in anyway.

What do those odds like like?

The suit was settled for $1500. The only money ever paid on my behalf in a med-mal case.

Skeptical Voter said...

Well I'm a white male now in my early 70's. Between 1980 and 1985 I travelled to Nigeria on business a dozen times or so.

A friend of mine was dying--and needed blood transfusions in 2007. Despite not having been in sub Saharan Africa for more than 20 years, my Los Angeles area blood bank would not take my blood.

OTOH--one commenter notes that Isaac Asimov died from a AIDS tainted blood transfusion.

I know of another man, Carl Goldberg, who, in his own way was as much a genius in his industry, as Asimov was in his ( Goldberg was a designer of model airplanes in the 30's, then head of a successful model airplane hobby company from the 40's through the early 70's). Goldberg died of an AIDS tainted blood transfusion received during heart surgery.

When Red Squaw Fauxcahontas can tell me of a cheap, reliable and effective test for AIDS virus in blood samples, then I say it's time to relax the ban on gay blood donors. Until she can show us one that is at least as convincing as her "Cherokee cheekbones"--a very low standard indeed, than she should simply shut her ignorant yap.

Anonymous said...

'Must?'

David said...

Arthur Ashe was unavailable for comment.

holdfast said...

Thousands of Canadians got AIDS and Hep C because Attorney General and then Governor Clinton sold blood products made from blood from prisoners to Canadian health authorities. Yet stupid Canadians love Clinton and hate Bush.

Original Mike said...

"It annoys me so very greatly that politics would have anything to do with any of the FDA's policies."

And the FDA is a piker compared to EPA. There's no fixing it other than to reduce the authority of government.

Original Mike said...

"So when did donating blood become a Right?"

Incredible, isn't it?

retail lawyer said...

Unfortunately, the gay lifestyle is prone to diseases. When (in the 80s) I read in the SF Chronicle that the average number of sexual contacts for an SF aids patient was 1,600, I asked my gay friend how many he had. He estimated 6,000. He was constantly on antibiotics for VD, and always getting amoebic dysentery. Is it homophobic to wonder what the next emerging disease gays will be the vector of? Is it homophobic to point out that the purpose of the blood supply is to save lives rather than gay self esteem?

Mitch H. said...

I did not realize that amoebic dysentery is a common STD in some quarters. You learn something every day.

cubanbob said...

We will need to massively ramp up vaccine research on any possible blood born disease and as a n additional precaution strip elected officials and indeed all executive branch officials and employees of immunity from damages resulting from their actions. Also require those very same officials to carry seriously high liability insurance coverage along with no bankruptcy protection.

Michael K said...

"Unfortunately, the gay lifestyle is prone to diseases."

When AIDS first appeared, one theory was that it was immune system exhaustion from the constant STD challenges.

One of my GP friends had a patient who had condylomata accuminata of the throat. Oral gonorrhea is common.

Freeman Hunt said...

She's pretending to call on science when she wants to go against science. Typical.

Pianoman said...

I went to Brazil in 1991, and prior to traveling there, I was required to take a bunch of pills and also get shots. One of the pills I took was anti-malaria, and I had to take it for 8 weeks. I found out when I returned from Brazil that I wouldn't be able to donate blood for 3 years.

Clearly my rights were violated. Who can I sue?

Pianoman said...

All this talk about STDs reminds me of Monty Python ...

My clapped-out genitalia
Is not so bad for me
As the complete and utter failure
Every time I try to pee
I'm dying from your love, my love,
I'm your spirochetal clown
I've left my body to science,
But I'm afraid they've turned it down

Gonococcal urethritis
Streptococcal balanitis
Meningomyelitis
Diplococcal catholitis
Epidydimitis
Interstitial keratitis
Syphilitic coronitis
And anterior ureitis ....

jr565 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul said...

"The FDA must commit to building a bigger, safer blood supply through risk-based screening & have courage to set policies based on science."

I could have sworn the FDA, Red Cross, Hospitals, blood banks, etc.. already do that.

So what is Liz Warren doing, trying to make a straw man so she can knock it down?

Sam L. said...

I have doubts about Liz's real belief in that.

Pianoman said...

@Paul: What is Warren doing ...

Looks like battlespace preparation to me. She's going to run hard Left.

Somehow, I doubt that Hillary is going to be shrieking about this. It's more evidence to me that Warren has no chance at the nomination.

Jack Wayne said...

Anyone who agrees to a transfusion in the future is nuts. Store your own blood if needed.

cubanbob said...

Elizabeth Warren and the FDA inspire real confidence when it comes to the nation's blood supply. Yes let her campaign on this. I wonder since most gay men are reasonable sane given the higher than average possibility for contracting disease from blood donated by sexually active gay men how many of them would prefer not have blood from this group used in a blood transfusion on them? Somehow I don't think this well do Warren well in the general election if she were to run.

Jupiter said...

tim maguire said...
"She happens to be right on this issue. Broken clock, maybe, but she's still right."

A stopped clock is right twice a day. Her transfusion and yours, maybe?

Pianoman said...

Warren's campaign is going to be a real hoot. She'll probably hammer on every Leftist trope you can imagine: Rape Culture (TM), Climate Change Is Going To Kill All Of Us And If You Deny It You Should Go To Jail, All Cops Want To Kill Black People, Racism Is Everywhere, Scott Walker Is The Antichrist, etc etc etc. Should be a lot of fun.

cubanbob said...

Pianoman said...
Warren's campaign is going to be a real hoot. She'll probably hammer on every Leftist trope you can imagine: Rape Culture (TM), Climate Change Is Going To Kill All Of Us And If You Deny It You Should Go To Jail, All Cops Want To Kill Black People, Racism Is Everywhere, Scott Walker Is The Antichrist, etc etc etc. Should be a lot of fun.
12/24/14, 2:44 PM"

She will be a lot of fun to watch on the campaign but be careful what you wish for since a nation that can elect an Obama can easily elect a Warren.

Birches said...

I think 12 months is a reasonable time table. My good friend from the third grade was a hemophiliac. He died when we were 15 from AIDS. But I doubt Elizabeth Warren cares about that risk...what pandering.

Jason said...

This is a problem with gays in the military, as well. When they need a lot of blood, in combat, everyone in the company lines up to give blood. There's no time to test or screen. It goes from arm to arm.




boinky said...

The HIV blood test used for screening takes several months to become positive, so the "one year" ban is scientific. There have been cases of HIV transmitted because the test was a false negative.

Of course, last week's CDC article on heterosexual transmission of HIV showed a very high rate of anal sex in women at risk, so maybe that should be the question asked.

Louis said...

Why isn't all blood tested three times by four experts before being used? If you were a king wouldn't you demand that?

David said...

My chronic mylogenous leukemia has been in remission for nearly a decade. As best they know, the disease is caused by a mutation of a chromosome. I can not give blood. It always seemed sensible to me, if a bit cautious.

Laugh at Elizabeth if you want. If the financial crisis recurs in some some form, she will be President.

JAORE said...

Since this is (who knew?) a right that gay men have fought for for so long; and the gay men are upset at the one year requirement.... what the heck are the odds that gay men go to blood banks and fib - just a little - about their length of time since they had sex?

I pick 95-100%, anyone else want to jump in the pool?

JAORE said...

Sorry, meant to say "some" gay men... point stands. Most folk will tell the truth about their travels and where they have lived. But when there is a group saying we have been denied a basic human right, there will be those who let routine caution to the wind.

MaxedOutMama said...

Well, but the one-year deferral is based on science. I don't quite know what to say about her stance on this. Either she's ignorant or she's a demagogue.

The policy isn't discriminatory because there are clearly evident risks of HIV transmission from high-risk blood donations during initial infection.

We probably aren't catching all such HIV transmissions, but in 2010 CDC detailed a case (which was in fact from a man who I guess was bisexual):
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5941a3.htm

We ban or temporarily defer people for all sorts of risks, and given the much higher HIV/Hepatitis infection rate in MSM, they do represent a population with increased risks to the blood supply. We believe we will detect almost all cases of HIV with the one-year gap, so it is science-based to change to that.

But what alternatives are there beyond that? Trying to pretend that those statistical risks don't exist is randomly killing and injuring people, which is not something we should deliberately do.

Germany relaxed its restrictions and changed to a risk-assessment method and then reinstated them because they did have infections from the blood supply. The one-year policy seems to have worked in various countries, so why not that?

traditionalguy said...

What use is the rule anyway if they ask for the donor to tell on themselves? The realists are amused. Warren is playing mind games with the gay issue.

That lady is dangerous. She picks the fights she wins.

Paco Wové said...

That was a deeply unserious comment, Louis. Silly almost at a Garage Mahal level.

chickelit said...

Greg Hlatky said...
I haven't been able to give blood for many years because I lived in England for more than six months during a time when I might have been exposed to mad-cow disease.

I can't give blood either for essentially the same reason: living in Europe in the 1990s. It's not fair, but I don't feel victimized.

Warren will need to do something like this to attract the substantial and growing gay male tithe. Better she than Hillary I suppose.

Ken Mitchell said...

Mitch H. said: "I did not realize that amoebic dysentery is a common STD in some quarters."

"Sexually transmitted" diseases are just diseases that cannot be spread by casual contact, like touching or close (non-touching) presence. ANY communicable disease can be spread by intimate - i.e., injected onto mucous membranes - contact. Ebola isn't considered "sexually transmitted", even though it _IS_ spread through sex; ebola is nasty enough that mere touch, or even relatively distant contact, can spread it.

Static Ping said...

I am hardly familiar with blood transfusion risks so I have no way to intelligently rate Senator Warren's opinion.

Like anything else, the blood donation regulations should be cost-benefit driven. In this case it is a balancing act among sufficient supply, safety for both donor and recipient, expense, and other factors. These screening questions are an imperfect way of balancing such concerns, blocking perfectly acceptable donors in high risk groups and allowing dangerous donors in low risk groups but minimizing the overall risk. Presumably performing more perfect testing would require more expense and/or greater violation of privacy which is why it is not done.

My general opinion is if the blood supply is sufficient under the current rules, I see no reason to change. It is good enough. That would not only apply to MSM but anything else. If the supply is insufficient, then and only then would I endorse relaxing the standards. If the supply is greater than the need, I would totally support more strict standards.

If the problem is that the screening of MSM implies that MSM have a higher incidence of blood-borne disease, well, do they? It appears so and if so too bad. If you want to eliminate that stigma, start at home. Encourage MSM to be less risky in their behavior. Contaminating the blood supply is, if anything, going to make that stigma worse.

ganderson said...

I still believe that the gay lifestyle + lots of drugs (but then, I repeat myself) + anti-aids drugs = death. Don't think Granny Warren believes that- she's pandering to a key constituency with piles of cash.

tds said...

Cherokee blood for the win!

Achilles said...

eric said...
"Because I'm no longer in the majority and cannot make law through the legit means, I'm calling on a government bureaucracy to make shit up so I don't have to.

Next I'm calling on the EPA to make new lead regulations for bullets."

DUH. Government will always be more progressive than the electorate that elects it. It will only faithfully serve those who make it grow. It attracts tyrants and busybodies to work for it.

Conservatives seem to be too thick to figure this out. If we elect republicans the IRS will still go after the tea party. But then the republicans in DC didn't really mind that much.

Achilles said...

chickelit said...
"Greg Hlatky said...
I haven't been able to give blood for many years because I lived in England for more than six months during a time when I might have been exposed to mad-cow disease. "

I am O-. They would pay me to donate except for the whole Afghanistan and Iraq and Thailand and seemingly being anywhere but here thing. Had HIV tests every 6 months in the army also.

Then again my friends and I went on a hike and it turned out to have a lot of ticks. We knew the drill and still had a couple grab on to us.(we found dozens during the search.) I had 2 the next morning but they both died immediately after latching on. I joked it was the anthrax shots but I got some strange looks. Maybe people who were in the army are not the best donors.

F said...

I too am excluded from the donor pool after having lived many years in central Africa. Am I discriminated against? Yes. Even though I have never had a positive blood test for anything that should concern a blood bank. Am I hurt by this discrimination? Not in the slightest. I would be happy to give blood, especially to Elizabeth Warren.

Rusty said...

Well. Better to be nearly safe and a little bit sorry.
I suppose.

Harold said...

People with hemochromatosis cannot give blood. Hemochromatosis is a hereditary disease that cannot be transferred by transfusion, casual contact, sex.... And the thing is, people with hemochromatosis have to control their disease by being bled out. Often done by the Red Cross. And their perfectly good blood is thrown away. Discarded. Not used to save lives. Becasue they have a diagnosed hereditary disease that isn't infectious in any way.

Harold said...

My mistake. I was operating from memory- Now, some blood banks do take blood from hemochromatosis patients. I need to keep up with this...

Jason said...

Damn hemos.