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Blood donation after Playa

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
St. Louis, MO
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49 posts
8 reviews
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Blood donation after Playa

My wife and I want to take our children to Mexico in early 2006. I want to go to Playa Del Carmen but she keeps saying that there must be something going on there because the American Red Cross will not accept your blood donation for 6 months after your visit there. She says that the same is not true of Cancun, there only 40 miles apart. Does anyone know anything about this?

NJ
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88 posts
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1. Re: Blood donation after Playa

It's not 6 months, it's one year.

This is what the Red Cross says:

"Travel Outside of U.S., Immigration

Wait 12 months after travel in an area where malaria is found. Wait 3 years after living in a country where malaria is found. Persons who have spent long periods of time in countries where "mad cow disease" is found are not eligible to donate. This requirement is related to concerns about variant Creutzfeld Jacob Disease (vCJD). Learn more about vCJD and donation. Persons who were born in or who lived in certain countries in Western Africa, or who have had close contact with persons who were born in or who lived in certain West African countries are not eligible to donate. This requirement is related to concerns about HIV Group O."

Now I won't say malaria is prevelant in Mexico, but travel to Mexico is still a problem when it comes to blood donation.

My husband used to donate blood on a regular basis, but once we started going to Mexico several times a year, they will no longer allow him to donate. I don't see why it would matter if it's Cancun or Playa...but just call the Red Cross and ask to be sure.

Mountain View
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60 posts
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2. Re: Blood donation after Playa

That is correct.

Its is a one year deferral due to Malaria. That does not apply to Cancun, but does apply to PDC.

However, I think that the risks must still be very negligible. For example, you are not encouraged to take anti-malarial drugs before visiting.

The Red Cross takes pretty extreme steps (not that I think it is a bad thing) to protect the blood supply and makes blanket rules.

Advance, North...
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1,542 posts
19 reviews
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3. Re: Blood donation after Playa

Our chapter of the American Red Cross only denies blood donations if you have been into the jungle. They ask you if you have been on a private tour of any of the ruins or into the interior of Mexico. If we stay mostly "on the beaten path" they have yet to deny us. I donate as often as I can arrange it but hubby is a regular platelet doner.

Lancaster, PA
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2,955 posts
6 reviews
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4. Re: Blood donation after Playa

My husband gave blood just 2 months after going to PDC. (And that was with having food poisoning also!) He talked to the admissions person and she said they only deny if you have been to the jungle areas.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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1,890 posts
22 reviews
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5. Re: Blood donation after Playa

I have to go with Shammy on this one. I give blood on a regular basis (when I have'nt been to Mexico) and they have a map from the CDC that indicates what areas visited can keep you from donating, most everything south of Cancun is on the map. It is a shame really, when the chance of Maleria is so small in most areas visited in the "Roo. 5 more weeks till Playa, cannot wait.

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1,693 posts
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6. Re: Blood donation after Playa

I went to donate blood and was not able to because we had been to the ruins. They told me it was because we had left the city and went into rural areas.

Edmonton, Alberta
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7. Re: Blood donation after Playa

In Canada, I was not able to donate any blood at all for 6 months and between 6 months to a year they will only use the plasma. I was told when I went to go donate last week that PDC area means no donating again(We are going in December). They didn't even ask if I was going off the resort.

It's a good thing they are so rigid though, it would be scary to have to take someone else's blood w/o these boundaries.

Lancaster, PA
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2,955 posts
6 reviews
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8. Re: Blood donation after Playa

I guess it depends on how each region interprets the Mexico rule. Sort of scary isn't it that they don't have a set standard?

Tx
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442 posts
1 review
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9. Re: Blood donation after Playa

I think it's because PDC is more jungly like than Cancun...more cityish...

My husband tried to donate last year and they told him no, because he had been to the jungle. He went on the Chitzen Itza tour. They said not for one year...but we went again this year to Mexico... I guess we're out for a while. You will love PDC more than Cancun, especially with the younguns..

Playa del Carmen...
Destination Expert
for Playa del Carmen
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8,751 posts
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10. Re: Blood donation after Playa

This is one of those unnecessarily frightening topics that resurfaces from time to time, so frequently that I have had to bookmark the CDC link that explains that there is NO RISK OF MALARIA IN PDC, no more than there is along the border.

Here's the link

cdc.gov/travel/…malariarisk

and here's the relevant excerpt:

Malaria Risk by Country

Mexico: Risk in rural areas, including resorts in rural areas, of the following states: Campeche, Chiapas, Guerrero, Michoacán, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Sinaloa, and Tabasco... No malaria risk along the United States-Mexico border. NO MALARIA RISK IN THE MAJOR RESORTS (THAT IS, RESORTS LOCATED IN URBAN AREAS) ALONG THE PACIFIC AND GULF COASTS, although tourists should use insect repellent and other anti-mosquito measures.

With 100,000 residents, and having already been listed at least one year in the Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest growing metropolis in the world, you can be sure that PDC qualifies as an urban area.

Steve