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Reserves of Rh-negative blood in Thailand are critically low, a challenge that can only be met with the help of the international community. Like most Asian nations, Thailand has a very low prevalence of Rh-negative blood, with some suggesting as few as three in every 1,000 Thais have this blood type, compared to around 15% …

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There are many problems giving blood in Thailand, trying to meet their criteria is especially difficult for a Brit. As my blood is O neg I have offered to give blood on a few occasions only to be turned down. A lot of us will have been living in the UK between 1980 - 1996 and are unable to donate blood owing to the Mad Cow Disease that was around at the time. 

According to the Thai Red Cross, people from the age of 17-70 years can donate blood. However, first-time donors must not be older than 55 years old. In addition, donors must weigh at least 45 kilograms, and for foreign blood donors, the requirement is that they have resided in Thailand for at least six months.

Prospective blood donors must be healthy for obvious reasons. People with a medical history of heart disease, liver disease, lung disease, blood disease, cancer, or bleeding and difficulty stopping bleeding, as well as hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus infection, are not allowed to donate blood. In addition, blood donors should not have a history of drug addiction, and people with new tattoos (within three years) and those with a new skin piercing (within 12 months) cannot donate blood.

Thailand, like most other countries, does not allow people who have lived in the UK between 1980-1996 to donate blood because of the possible risk of transmitting the human form of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD).



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Even though I am not a permanent resident, I have donated blood at Siriraj Hospital in BKK at least a dozen times. They work in a clean and professional way. Yes, you must meet many criteria, but I am lucky to fulfill them all. Unfortunately, despite being Farang I have "Thai blood", i.e. O pos, so my own donation would not help in this particular case.

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