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Just a little scratch?

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 27 August 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3393
  1. Jeremy Cohn, advocate, Jerusalem
  1. jcohn{at}

    I learnt the importance of a ready supply of blood at the age of 16, when my best friend needed daily blood transfusions. All of us friends wanted to help, but ideals and enthusiasm could not bridge the age gap, and we were left with a vague undertaking to become blood donors when we grew up.

    A fortuitous blood drive during my first year of university had me embarking on a donating career that has spanned time and continents. Over that time I have been in remarkably good health, my drug use has been limited to nicotine (now abandoned, mercifully), and medically sanctioned quantities of alcohol. My extracurricular activities have been conservative, not to say prudish. So, you would think that I would be an ideal candidate as a blood donor, notwithstanding my bog …

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