Local press of all types is running the story that the local health authorities have put out a call for blood donations because supplies are running low and more than one operation has had to be cancelled. Social media has carried the call for blood far and wide … but British donors cannot heed that call because Spain, due to fears about CJD (fears that many think unfounded despite clear evidence of risk) has rules forbidding British people to donate blood if they were in the UK for more than three months between January 1980 and December 1996. These rules are also in place in other EU countries, so this is not a purely Spanish issue. Sad, but we cannot help alleviate the blood shortage. I know that the rumour mill sometimes makes it difficult if not impossible to distinguish fact from fiction but the ban, and its continued enforcement, is information that has been confirmed to me personally by the British Foreign Office in the last few days.