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Mark Bornfeld, DDS
Mark Bornfeld, DDS, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 5989
Experience:  Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA
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Donating Blood after Bovine Bone Implant

Resolved Question:

Dr. Bornfeld,

If bovine-derived bone grafting materials are "supposedly" safe, why can't I donate blood ever again.   My oral surgeon said there's a one-year wait, but I read a research paper that states never and my friend who just went to donate blood was told because of the bovine bone she can never donate.   If it's so safe, why? Now I'm really getting scared of the bovine bone grafting I got. Should I be? Am I over reacting?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  replied 8 years ago.

This is an interesting subject, and I'm not sure I have a reliable answer-- there is no firm policy statement on the issue that I can find on the FDA web site, other than a 7 year old document:

This document doesn't spell out an official position on the matter, other than a proposed inclusion of the question "In the past 12 months have you had a graft such as bone or skin?"

While there is no recommendation as to what should be done with a positive response, the clear implication is that it would merit some degree of caution.

An interesting web page on the subject can be found at:

The botXXXXX XXXXXne at this time seems to be that blood bank directors have the discretion to allow or bar blood donation using criteria of their own choosing. It would be helpful to have an official governmental ruling on the subject, but in the absence of official regulation, the rules are made by individual blood banks.

It seems that the primary concern here is the transmission of a disorder variously referred to as either spongiform encephalopathy, Creutzfeld-Jacob disease (CJD), or mad-cow disease. Historically, the U.S. has mistrusted the importation of cattle or bovine products from foreign countries, presumably because the domestic beef supply is considered safer. However, the prion that is thought to be the cause of BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) is also thought to be transmitted by consumption (i.e., ingestion) of beef products, and there is no proscription from blood donation from prospective blood donors who may have consumed foreign beef, lamb, mutton, or even domestic venison-- all of which are at least theoretically capable of transmitting CJD. So it would seem that the use of graft recipient status as an exclusionary factor for blood donation would be inconsistent.

The botXXXXX XXXXXne as far as safety is that bovine bone grafts are safe, to the extent that there has never been a reported case of disease transmission in this way. Official policy, however, is often shaped by public opinion or hysteria, and not by science.

Hope this helps...
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