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why do you have to be 16 to donate blood

There are minimum and maximum ages for blood donation. Up until recently, the minimum age for whole blood donation in Australia was 16 years, however it's now 18 years. The policy change will not impact donors who need to have blood taken for their own treatment (therapeutic venesection). The maximum ages for blood donation depends on the kind of donation and if you have given blood before in Australia. See below. Donating whole blood New donor в You can start donating whole blood any time up until your 71st birthday. Existing donor в If you have previously given blood before in Australia and meet eligiblity criteria, you can continue donating whole blood up to your 81st birthday. Donating plasma. You can donate plasma if you are aged between 18-70 years and meet other eligibility criteria.

Donating platelets. Existing male whole blood donors aged between 18-70 years and meet other eligibility criteria. If youвre already a plasma and/or platelet donor in Australia and continue to meet eligiblity criteria, you can donate right up until your 81st birthday.
On blood and plasma selling - I did it for years in college to make ends meet. With the automated machines, you can literally watch them pull a needle out of its original packaging, watch them unwrap and install a one-time-use sterilized centrifuge container (the only part of the machine that the blood you get back ever touches), and watch your blood come out, spin, and go right back in without ever being more than three feet from you. The inherent risk is fluid loss, which you can replace, and the same risks you have donating blood (bad reaction at needle site increased marginally by the presence of an anticoagulant, fainting, low blood pressure, whatnot).

I was always furious that they wouldn t let me donate at 16 in high school, even with parental consent (then, it was 17 with parental consent, or over 18 ). To those who talk about how a 16-year-old might not know the risks of something he or she would pass on, they re just as likely as a 19-year-old to know, honestly. That s why there s a questionnaire and why the blood is tested. A 16-year-old is no more likely to have had a blood transfusion she doesn t know about than a 25-year-old is to have a wife who cheated on him with someone HIV+. I agree, there are risks associated with donating blood. You can have a bad reaction to the needle, you can have a low blood pressure episode and pass out, you can throw up at the sight of your own blood and get vomit in your sock.

Those risks seem to happen regardless of age, and the blood donation staff is trained to recognize them and respond to them. I guess what I really don t see is the point of the graduated system. If you can give blood at 16 with parental consent, why not 15? 13? 12? At 13, I was taller and heavier than a lot of adults, and met all the donation criteria. My mom would have been happy to let me donate. If you re going to require parental consent for those under 18, then drop the age requirement entirely and let kids who meet the health critieria donate at any age. If you re going to say that somehow something changes at 16 that you can safely donate blood (given the incredible range of speeds at which development progresses between 12 and 21, I can t see 16 as anything but an arbitrary choice), then assume that the same thing that differentiates a 15 year old from a 16 year old on giving blood also differentiates them on consenting to blood donation, and let them donate without parental consent.

With driving, there s a graduated system because it s a set of learned skills that require supervised training. It s not a very good comparison to giving blood, because there is no graduated set of skills. Either you can answer questions and bleed when your veins are opened, or you can t. Set one age. Above it, you can give without consent. Below it, you have to have consent. That makes much more sense to me.

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