New rules allow more to give blood to save lives

By Pamela Young
Published On: May 05 2014 01:34:01 PM HST

Advances in medical technology are allowing those previously prohibited from donating blood to participate in lifesaving donations.

HONOLULU -

After contributing 193 pints of blood within 50 years, Jack Lockwood suddenly learned his donation days were over.

"I came to the Blood Bank at a regular donation and my hemoglobin was low," said Lockwood.  "They asked me to come back in two weeks and it was still low.   That led to the diagnosis of internal bleeding and the diagnosis of cancer."

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Under the old restrictions, cancer survivors, like Jack, were barred from giving blood.  But, new eligibility requirements put in place a month ago are opening the door for patients cancer-free a year or more.  That means Jack will be able to realize his goal of donating his 200th pint.

Also rolling up his sleeve, Jack's son, Andrew, was previously ineligible because of diabetes.  Jack's grandson, Brandon, also made his first donation now that he's 17.  Three generations making a difference.

"Your blood can be broken down into three components, so you can save three lives.  To me, it's a no-brainer," said Lockwood.

Click here to learn more about Blood Bank donation eligibility.

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