New and Returning donors Eligibility Quiz - Irish Blood Transfusion Service

New and Returning donors Eligibility Quiz

Thank you for completing the First Time Donor eligibility quiz!

You have answered some of the main questions that you will be asked when you come to donate blood.  If you answered 'No' to all these questions, you may be eligible to give blood. You might have more specific questions related your own health, medication or travel. Please see our FAQ section about these.

  • Please click here for more information on what you need to do to prepare for donation.  
We would like you to have a look through these before you come to give blood. If you have any questions or queries about donating, please feel free to contact us on 1850 731137.       
You can also view a copy of the detailed health and lifestyle questionnaire that you will be asked to complete at clinic here.

You cannot donate at this time. However, we would be delighted to see you when you are 18.

During the Covid-19 restrictions, donors aged 70 and over cannot give blood.

If you are over 65 and have never given blood before, then you cannot donate However:  - if you are between 65 and 69 years and have given blood in the last 10 years then you can give blood.  

The upper age criteria is different for donors with HH. Please click here for more details.

If you weigh less than 50 kgs you are unable to donate at this time. If you weigh more than 158 kgs you are unable to donate at this time. Please phone us for further information at 1850731137.

If you are a female, donating for the first time or you have not donated in 5 years or you are under 26 years of age and are less than 5ft 6 inches (168cms) in height and less than 10st 3lb (65 kgs), your height and weight will need to be assessed to establish your eligibility to donate.

Please click here if this applies to you. 

Some medications can be harmful to a patient receiving a blood transfusion.  You may not be be able to donate if you are taking medication to treat an illness or infection.

In general, you must be fully recovered from an illness or infection and have completed the course of medication before donating.

Certain medical conditions require long term use of medication.  For information about specific conditions and medications, please see the FAQs

Please note, not all medications prevent donation -  please contact us at 1850 731137 for further information. Please ensure that you know the name of any medication you are currently taking or have taken in the past 4 weeks so that we can can assess your eligibility to donate.  

You cannot donate if you have any illness or injury which may mean that it is not safe to give your blood to a sick patient. Please check the FAQs or contact us on 1850 731 137 so that we can advise you.

You cannot donate if you had an endoscopy (scope) in the last 4 months. If you were diagnosed with a medical condition or illness, please check the FAQs or contact us on 1850 731 137 so that we can advise you

You cannot donate if you have had a tattoo or piercing in the last 4 months.

Because you were born outside of Ireland and the UK, on your first attendance we will not collect a blood donation from you. We will ask you to complete a health and lifestyle questionnaire and assess your eligibility to donate. If you are eligible we will take some blood samples from you and you will be able to return to donate in 90 days.

  • If you were born in Mexico, Central or South America you are not eligible to donate in Ireland due to a risk of Chagas disease
  • If you lived in a country for at least three months in the first five year of your life where there is a Malarial risk you may not be eligible to donate. Please check the list of countries here and if you have any further questions please contact us

Due to Covid-19, you cannot donate for 14 days after returning from any country outside the island of Ireland. Travel outside of Ireland also carries a risk of transmitting an illness such as Malaria, West Nile Virus, Zika Virus, and Dengue virus (among others) to sick patients.  

  • Following return from a Malarial risk area, you cannot donate for 12 months
  • Following return from a tropical area, you cannot donate for 3 months 
  • Following return from a country or area that is not tropical and has no risk of Malaria you may need to wait for up to  28 days after return before donating  

For a list of countries and associated risks, click here

Please contact us at 1850 731137 for further information

If you lived in any Malarial at risk area for 3 months in the first 5 years of your life or you spent 6 months continually in a Malarial area in Sub Saharan Africa or Papua New Guinea you cannot give blood.

You cannot give blood if you ever had malaria, even if you are fully recovered.

You cannot give blood for 12 months after visiting a Malarial at risk area. 

See list of countries for Malaria risk areas.

If the country you visited is not on the list please contact the IBTS for further information as countries where Malaria only affects certain parts are not listed here.

You can give blood if your diabetes is well controlled through diet alone and if you have no complications from your diabetes such as eye disease, blood vessel related or kidney problems.

You cannot give blood if you require insulin injections to control your diabetes

You may be able to donate if you require oral hypoglycaemic tablets - Please contact us  on 1850 731 137 .

You cannot donate if you have ever had:                 

Angina

Angioplasty (with or without stents)

Atrial Fibrillation A-Fib

Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery i.e. Heart Bypass

Heart attack  (Myocardial Infarction)

Ischaemic Heart Disease  or Coronary Heart Disease

Stroke or TIA

You cannot donate if taking anti-coagulant treatment e.g. Warfarin or Xarelto or Plavix.

If you have any other cardiac queries please contact us on our Donor Infoline 1850 731 137

You cannot give blood if you have had cancer, even if the cancer has been treated and you are well at present.

There are exceptions:

Carcinoma in-situ and Rodent Ulcer (Basal Cell Carcinoma)

You can donate if you have been cured of a carcinoma in situ (CIS) and discharged from follow-up even if you received radiotherapy as part of the treatment. You can donate if you have been returned to routine screening following treatment for cervical CIS. 

If you had Cervical Carcinoma in-situ and you have completed successful treatment and have had one clear cervical smear thereafter, you can give blood if no further treatment is planned even if you go for regular cervical smears.

If you had Rodent Ulcer (Basal Cell Carcinoma) and you have completed successful treatment, you can give blood if no further treatment is planned

You can give blood if you have mild hay fever or another mild allergy to a food or environmental substance, as long as you are fit and well on the day, even if you are taking anti-histamines or using intra-nasal steroids such as beclometasone (Beconase).

You can give blood if you are allergic to nickel.

You cannot give blood for one year after a reaction to a medicine/medication.

You cannot give blood if you have ever had anaphylaxis or if you carry adrenaline/epinephrine (Anapen or EpiPen) for self administration.

You cannot give blood if you have an acute allergic reaction at present, until your symptoms have settled and a further deferral period (weeks to months) may be necessary depending on the severity of the attack.

You cannot give blood if you have active symptoms.

Please call our Donor Infoline 1850 731 137 with any questions

You can give blood if you have mild asthma and require only occasional use of inhalers or if you are on a regular preventative treatment programme with inhalers and do not have active symptoms at present.

You cannot give blood for 7 days after taking oral steroid tablets or prescribed steroid injections.

You cannot give blood if you have active symptoms.

You cannot give blood if you have severe asthma.

You may be able to donate if you have received infertility treatment. Please call our Donor Infoline 1850 731 137 before attending a clinic to donate.

If you received a transfusion after 1st January 1980 you cannot donate blood. 

You can donate if you received a blood transfusion in the Republic of Ireland before 1st January 1980 (depending on the reason for the transfusion -  please check the FAQs or contact us on 1850 731 137 so that we can advise you). 

If you received  an autologous transfusion (your own blood) you can donate after 12 months

If you have hereditary haemochromatosis (HH) you may be eligible to donate. Click here for more information specific to your eligibility.

You cannot give blood if you have ever had syphilis or gonorrhoea.

You can give blood 4 months after complete recovery and conclusion of treatment for chlamydia and genital herpes.

You can give blood 2 weeks after complete recovery and conclusion of treatment of genital anal warts.

Contact us for all other STI's not listed.

All donors are tested for infections that can be passed on by blood transfusions. Recent infection may not always show up on testing in the early stages – i.e. in the ‘window period.’ This is why we must take great care in donor selection and why you must not give blood to see if you are infected. If you give blood to see if you are infected you are putting patients’ lives at risk.

If you have any reason to believe you may have acquired an infection through unprotected sex, you should not give blood. Safe sex practices are vital to the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. However, 'protected sex' is not 100% effective; therefore the following apply even if a condom or other form of protection was used.

You must NEVER give blood if:

You think you need a test for HIV or hepatitis.

You or your partner have HIV or HTLV.

You, your partner or close household contacts have hepatitis B or hepatitis C.

You have ever received money or drugs for sex.

You have ever injected, or have been injected with, non-prescribed drugs; even once or a long time ago. This includes body building drugs and injectable tanning agents.

You must NOT give blood for at least 12 months after you last had:

Sex with anyone who has HIV, hepatitis B or C or HTLV.

Sex with anyone who has syphilis or any other sexually transmitted infection.

Sex with anyone who had ever been given money or drugs for sex 

Sex with anyone who has ever injected or who has been injected with non-prescribed drugs, even once or a long time ago. This includes body building drugs and injectable tanning agents.

Sex with anyone, including your current partner, who may ever have had sex in parts of the world where HIV is very common. This includes Africa and South East Asia.

If you are female: Sex with a male who has ever had oral or anal sex with another male with or without a condom or other form of protection.

If you are male: Sex with another male, even ‘safer sex’ using a condom or pre-exposure prophylaxis.

All of the above apply even if a condom or other form of protection was used.

You must NEVER give blood if:

You think you need a test for HIV or hepatitis.

You or your partner have HIV or HTLV.

You, your partner or close household contacts have hepatitis B or hepatitis C.

You have ever received money or drugs for sex.

You have ever injected, or have been injected with, non-prescribed drugs; even once or a long time ago. This includes body building drugs and injectable tanning agents.

You must NOT give blood for at least 12 months after you last had:

Sex with anyone who has HIV, hepatitis B or C or HTLV.

Sex with anyone who has syphilis or any other sexually transmitted infection.

Sex with anyone who had ever been given money or drugs for sex 

Sex with anyone who has ever injected or who has been injected with non-prescribed drugs, even once or a long time ago. This includes body building drugs and injectable tanning agents.

Sex with anyone, including your current partner who may ever have had sex in parts of the world where HIV is very common. This includes Africa and South East Asia.

If you are female: Sex with a male who has ever had oral or anal sex with another male with or without a condom or other form of protection.

If you are male: Sex with another male, even ‘safer sex’ using a condom or pre-exposure prophylaxis.

All of the above apply even if a condom or other form of protection was used.

You cannot give blood if you have Hepatitis

You can give blood 6 months after full recovery from Hepatitis E

You can give blood if you had Hepatitis A before you were 13 years old or 6 months after full recovery at any age

*This rule changed in 2002 when we introduced an additional test for hepatitis. Before that, many people who had hepatitis A as a child could not give blood

You can give blood if you had jaundice at any age if it was caused by gallstones/gallbladder (see the entry for surgery)

You can give blood if you had jaundice at any age caused by a medication that you were prescribed once you have made a full recovery and waited 12 months thereafter

You cannot give blood if you ever had Hepatitis B even if you no longer carry the virus

You cannot give blood if you have ever had Hepatitis C

You cannot give blood if your current sexual partner has Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C

*If your previous sexual partner has Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C, you must wait 12 months after your last sexual contact with him/her before you can give blood

*You cannot give blood if you live in the same house as a person who has Hepatitis B or C

*There may be exceptions, please phone our donor helpline with any other questions about 1850 731 137

You cannot give blood if you have ever injected or been injected with drugs that were not prescribed by a registered medical practitioner, even once or a long time ago.

This includes body-building drugs & injectable tanning agents.

You cannot give blood for 12 months if you have snorted cocaine or any other drug.

You cannot give blood for 14 days if you have taken ecstasy.

You cannot give blood if you are under the influence of any recreational drug.

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service values the privacy of donors. All interviews are conducted in private and donor confidentiality is always maintained.

You must NEVER give blood if:

You think you need a test for HIV or hepatitis.

You or your partner have HIV or HTLV.

You, your partner or close household contacts have hepatitis B or hepatitis C.

You have ever received money or drugs for sex.

You have ever injected, or have been injected with, non-prescribed drugs; even once or a long time ago. This includes body building drugs and injectable tanning agents.

You must NOT give blood for at least 12 months after you last had:

Sex with anyone who has HIV, hepatitis B or C or HTLV.

Sex with anyone who has syphilis or any other sexually transmitted infection.

Sex with anyone who had ever been given money or drugs for sex 

Sex with anyone who has ever injected or who has been injected with non-prescribed drugs, even once or a long time ago. This includes body building drugs and injectable tanning agents.

Sex with anyone, including your current partner who may ever have had sex in parts of the world where HIV is very common. This includes Africa and South East Asia.

If you are female: Sex with a male who has ever had oral or anal sex with another male with or without a condom or other form of protection.

If you are male: Sex with another male, even ‘safer sex’ using a condom or pre-exposure prophylaxis.

All of the above apply even if a condom or other form of protection was used.

If you have any other question concerning drugs, please call our Donor Infoline 1850 731 137.

You cannot give blood if you have ever received money or drugs for sex.

If you have any reason to believe you may have acquired an infection through unprotected sex, you should not give blood. Safe sex practices are vital to the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. However, 'protected sex' is not 100% effective; therefore the following apply even if a condom or other form of protection was used.

You must NEVER give blood if:

You think you need a test for HIV or hepatitis.

You or your partner have HIV or HTLV.

You, your partner or close household contacts have hepatitis B or hepatitis C.

You have ever received money or drugs for sex.

You have ever injected, or have been injected with, non-prescribed drugs; even once or a long time ago. This includes body building drugs and injectable tanning agents.

You must NOT give blood for at least 12 months after you last had:

Sex with anyone who has HIV, hepatitis B or C or HTLV.

Sex with anyone who has syphilis or any other sexually transmitted infection.

Sex with anyone who had ever been given money or drugs for sex 

Sex with anyone who has ever injected or who has been injected with non-prescribed drugs, even once or a long time ago. This includes body building drugs and injectable tanning agents.

Sex with anyone (including your current partner) who may ever have had sex in parts of the world where HIV is very common. This includes Africa and South East Asia.

If you are female: Sex with a male who has ever had oral or anal sex with another male with or without a condom or other form of protection.

If you are male: Sex with another male, even ‘safer sex’ using a condom or pre-exposure prophylaxis.

All of the above apply even if a condom or other form of protection was used.

Change to Deferral Criteria for MSM Donating Blood    

Why did the IBTS decide to change from the lifelong deferral to one year for MSM since their last sexual contact?  

There are many reasons why a person may not be eligible to donate on the day they attend a donation clinic.  The IBTS constantly reviews these deferral criteria and makes changes as appropriate.  In the case of men who have sex with men (MSM) a lifelong deferral has been in place since the emergence of HIV in the 1980s.  In light of changes to this deferral criterion in other countries the IBTS decided to review its lifetime deferral.   The IBTS held a conference on 21 & 22 April 2016 at which data were presented from countries that had changed their deferral criteria for MSM.  The data showed that there had not been an increase in the number of HIV positive blood donations, since the change in the deferral policy. It was concluded that international experience had shown that a one year deferral is as effective as a lifetime deferral from the point of view of protecting the blood supply against the risk of HIV transmission.   

What does this mean in practice?  

This means that a man whose last sexual contact with another man was more than 12 months ago will be eligible to donate if he meets the other donor selection criteria.  A man who has had oral or anal sex with another man in the past 12 months will still not be eligible to donate, even if he used a condom or pre or post exposure prophylaxis (PrEP/PEP).   People who take medication to prevent HIV infection i.e. pre or post exposure prophylaxis (PrEP/PEP) will be deferred from donating for 12 months thereafter.  This is because the use of PrEP or PEP may interfere with testing for HIV by delaying seroconversion or giving unclear results in a positive donor.     

What about the risk from Emerging Infections?  

While the one year deferral will protect against the risk of transmission of HIV there is concern that it may not be sufficient to deal with an emerging infection.  Persons who have had syphilis, gonorrhoea, lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) or granuloma inguinale are permanently excluded from donating.  It is hoped that deferring people with these infections will add an extra layer of protection against emerging infections.   In addition there are other measures in place to quickly identify new emerging infections if they occur and to help to protect against these infections entering the   blood supply.  These measures include an international surveillance network and rapid development of new molecular tests.   

When was the life-long exclusion changed to a one year deferral?  

This change was introduced on 16 January 2017.  

How do the new recommendations impact people who were previously deferred? 

Persons who were deferred under previous criteria will be eligible to donate if they meet the new donor eligibility criteria.  

Why did it take this long to implement the change?  

We had to ensure that there was full communication and engagement around this change.  We also had to change our donor health and lifestyle questionnaires, guidelines for staff, information on our website and our IT systems.    

Will the IBTS consider further changes to the policy in the future? 

The IBTS will closely monitor the effects of the current changes over the next few years in order to help ensure that blood safety is maintained.  At the same time, the IBTS will continue to work in this area and review its donor deferral policies to ensure they reflect the most up-to-date scientific knowledge.  This process must be data-driven, so the timeframe for future changes is not something that can be predicted. 

Find more information on MSM here

Please contactus for further advice on 1850 731 137. You may be eligible to donate.

All donors are tested for infections that can be passed on by blood transfusions. Early stage infection may not always show up on testing in the early stages – i.e. in the ‘window period.’ This is why we must take great care in donor selection and why you must not give blood to see if you are infected. If you give blood to see if you are infected you are putting patients’ lives at risk.

If you have any reason to believe you may have acquired an infection through unprotected sex, you should not give blood. Safe sex practices are vital to the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. However, 'protected sex' is not 100% effective; therefore the following apply even if a condom or other form of protection was used.

You must NEVER give blood if:

You think you need a test for HIV or hepatitis.

You or your partner have HIV or HTLV.

You, your partner or close household contacts have hepatitis B or hepatitis C.

You have ever received money or drugs for sex.

You have ever injected, or have been injected with, non-prescribed drugs; even once or a long time ago. This includes body building drugs and injectable tanning agents.

You must NOT give blood for at least 12 months after you last had:

Sex with anyone who has HIV, hepatitis B or C or HTLV.

Sex with anyone who has syphilis or any other sexually transmitted infection.

Sex with anyone who had ever been given money or drugs for sex 

Sex with anyone who has ever injected or who has been injected with non-prescribed drugs, even once or a long time ago. This includes body building drugs and injectable tanning agents.

Sex with anyone (including your current partner) who may ever have had sex in parts of the world where HIV is very common. This includes Africa and South East Asia.

If you are female: Sex with a male who has ever had oral or anal sex with another male with or without a condom or other form of protection.

If you are male: Sex with another male, even ‘safer sex’ using a condom or pre-exposure prophylaxis.

All of the above apply even if a condom or other form of protection was used.

Thank you for taking the quiz

Thank you for completing the First Time Donor eligibility quiz!

You have answered some of the main questions that you will be asked when you come to donate blood.  If you answered 'No' to all these questions, you may be eligible to give blood. You might have more specific questions related your own health, medication or travel. Please see our FAQ section about these.

We would like you to have a look through these before you come to give blood. If you have any questions or queries about donating, please feel free to contact us on 1850 731137.       
You can also view a copy of the detailed health and lifestyle questionnaire that you will be asked to complete at clinic here.