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I have donated blood and carry an organ donor card. Have I unwittingly infected others with blood donated before diagnosis?

Also, are my organs likely to be of any help to others or is transplant too high a risk?

I don't believe that blood or organs are screened for Scleroderma.

I would consider a live transplant if a family member needed a kidney. Is this now wise to consider?

Thanks to anyone who may be able to shed light.

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Hi Dimarzio,


You've raised some interesting questions and we do have three medical pages on Tissue Donation, Tattoos and Blood Donation and Organ Donation which I hope will prove helpful to you.


It would appear that anyone who does not have the HIV (AIDS) virus can usually become an organ or tissue donor, even people with hepatitis and cancer. However, people with systemic scleroderma or other autoimmune diseases cannot donate blood, probably as much because of the medication taken, as well as the disease itself.


However, as I have no medical training or experience in such matters, I would suggest that you verify this with your scleroderma expert, who is really the best person to advise you and could probably let you know the situation about your blood donation prior to your diagnosis and future kidney donation.


Kind regards,

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Hi Dimarzio,


As you can see from our pages on the topics, tissue, blood and organ donations can get tricky for a systemic scleroderma patient. 


Interestingly, while blood donation is out, the tissue and organ questions should always be left for the transplant team to sort out. For example, they might pass on your lungs but use your eyes. That's why everyone who is in favor of organ donations -- regardless of their health -- should sign up to be a donor and let their wishes be known to their doctors and next of kin, too.


Now, as far as giving a live kidney donation when you have scleroderma, sadly, that's not possible, because live kidney donors need to be over 18, and in good mental and physical health. Another consideration is that scleroderma often affects the kidneys, so keeping maximum kidney health and function is key to longevity.


Scleroderma isn't contagious, so you haven't infected anyone by donating blood before you were diagnosed.  As I understand it, it's just a precaution that everyone be in good health, to the best of their knowledge, to donate blood.



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