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Hemochromatosis

Blood Count for Donating Blood

06/23/2010

Question:

I had a Blood est in April 2010 and my Iron,Total was 75. Thye state it should be between 40 & 160, so I am just fine. However, when I try to donate blood for the Red Cross, my Iron count needs to be at least 13. Mine quite often is 12.something.

The last time I tried to donate I was declined due to my iron count. The one person taking my information told me that I should not drink Tea, I only drink herbal tea, but she said it doesn`t matter - don`t drink tea - it lowers your blood count.

Does this make sense to you? I have mentioned it to several persons and no one has ever heard that Tea is harmful to your iron count.

I know they want it higher than a doctor due to giving it to an unknown person.

Answer:

You are confusing a hemoglobin, which they check when you donate blood, with the iron count.  One does not necessarily have anything to do with the other.  What it simply means is that you are borderline anemic.  You should talk with your primary care physician about that and see if you need an evaluation.

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Response by:

Mark   Wurster, MD Mark Wurster, MD
Former Clinical Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University