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Steroids are a broad group of substances. We will discuss anabolic steroid mainly. So, can a person using anabolic steroids donate blood? Principally answer is “NO,” but technically “YES.” So, what does all this means? Let us look at the things in more details.
Most medical organizations would not take blood from a person who uses steroids, as medically it is classified as drug abuse and not use. It means that medically taking steroids for boosting physical performance is illegal. Thus, if medical institutions will take the blood of a person known to use steroids, that would be indirect acceptance of safety of such drug use.
Medical institutions discourage use of steroids since they think that people would start misusing them earlier or later. Although, steroids are quite safe when used in a recommended way, but they may harm health when used in an uncontrolled way. In medicine, they can be used in severe wasting due to diseases, to accelerate recovery after a surgery, in osteoporosis, or severe anemia. Medicine also allows the use of testosterone as a hormone replacement therapy in some individuals.
But as already mentioned, technically there is no harm in donating blood when using steroids. However, lots will depend on the situation. Generally, level of steroids in the donated blood will be very small to cause any harm. Moreover, the person on steroids will have better blood quality, a higher amount of red blood cells, and white blood cells. Low level of steroids in the donated blood will help the diseased person recover faster.
All this means that in case of emergency there is no reason that a person on steroids cannot donate blood. However, donating blood on a regular basis is neither allowed medically nor recommended.
There are some other reasons to worry too. Medical people fear that people using anabolic steroids may also use other street drugs. Such people may take injections in less than sterile conditions thus increasing the risk of other infective diseases.
Perhaps yes. The reason is simple, people who use anabolic steroids have high hematocrit or number of red blood cells, which make their blood really viscous. Very viscous blood is not good for heart health. Donating blood on a regular basis, let’s say every six months, will help reduce the hematocrit temporarily and thus reducing chances of some of the side effects.
Donating blood by those on steroids is safe both for the users of steroids and those in need of blood. A very small level of steroids in the blood will not harm the receiver, of the donated blood. Steroids are known to stimulate the recovery processes. However, medical institutions will refuse to take blood from those using steroids as they think that such individuals are in a high-risk group, they may use other drugs, or may have certain infections.
Therefore, if there is some emergency and blood is needed, a person taking steroids can donate blood, with the condition that he or she must not be taking any illegal drugs or suffering from infections.