Health FAQs - Irish Blood Transfusion Service

Health FAQs

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To help you learn more about giving blood you can also take our eligibility quiz.

If any queries or questions arise in your mind please call our low-call number on 1850 731 137.

To help you learn more about giving blood you can also take our eligibility quiz.

If any queries or questions arise in your mind please call our low-call number on 1850 731 137.

You can give blood 12 months following a termination

You cannot give blood if you have an infection in your teeth or gums or you have a dental abscess. You can give blood 2 weeks after treatment for a dental abcess if no further treatment is planned and you are fully recovered. You must be pain-free when you give blood. If you took antibiotics, you must also have finished the course at least one week before giving blood.

You can give blood when all wounds, injuries, minor cuts, scratches or abrasions are fully healed.

You cannot give blood while awaiting medical treatment or investigations.

If you have had stitches you must wait until these have been removed / dissolved and the wound is fully healed before you give blood.

If you had a tetanus injection you must wait for 48 hours afterwards and be well before you give blood (as long as any wound is healed).

If you had any open wounds you must wait until these are fully healed before you give blood.

You cannot give blood if you have an infection.

You cannot give blood if you are in plaster cast until it is removed and you have been discharged from the fracture clinic.

You cannot give blood if you require the use of crutches / walking aid.

You cannot give blood if you received a blood transfusion after 01 Jan 1980.

You can give blood if you have acne and if there is no current infection.

You can give blood if you are taking certain antibiotics on an ongoing basis to keep your acne under control. These include ByMycin, Clinimycin, Erymax, Erythrocin, Minocin SA, Minox 50, Stiemycin, Tetracycline, Tetralysal and Vibramycin 50.

You can give blood if you are taking Dianette for acne and if there is no current infection.

If your skin is infected and you needed to take a course of antibiotics, you must be fully recovered for at least 2 weeks before you can give blood and you must also have finished the course at least one week before giving blood.

You cannot give blood if you have ever been treated with Etretinate (Tigason).

You can give blood 12 months after you have been treated with Acitretin (Neotigason).

You can give blood 4 weeks after finishing treatment with:

  • Adapalene (Differin)

  • Isotretinoin (Roaccutane)

  • Tazarotene (Zorac)

  • Tretinoin (Retin A)

You can give blood if you have had acupuncture or dry needling performed by:

  • A Medical Practitioner registered with the Irish Medical Council

  • A Registered Nurse registered with the Nursing & Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) andworking for a Medical Practitioner registered with the Irish Medical Council or

  • A Chartered Physiotherapist registered with the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists.

     

    If acupuncture or dry needling was performed by a practitioner other than those listed above, you cannot give blood for at least 4 months (120 days) after your most recent treatment.

    Note: you may be deferred for the reason you had acupuncture, please check the A-Z listing or call our infoline 1850 731 137

You can give blood if you can fully understand all the questions being asked on the questionnaire and give valid consent and your condition does not affect the donation process, even if you are taking medication such as Ritalin.

You must be at least 18 years of age and under 65 years to give blood for the first time.

If you are aged between 65 and 70 years (up to but not including your 70th birthday) and you have donated in the past 10 years, you can give blood.

In selected cases, you can give blood if you are 70 years or over but you must have donated in the past two years and have a medical certificate of fitness from your GP. The certificate is valid for 12 months from the date of issue.

You cannot give blood if you are under the influence of alcohol.

You must not consume alcohol on the day of donation, alcohol intake can lead to dehydration which increases the likelihood of fainting after donation.

You must drink plenty of non-alcoholic drinks in the 24 hours before and after donating, to help prevent fainting.

You cannot give blood if you are taking Disulfiram (Antabuse) or within 7 days of stopping it. This is because Antabuse can cause severe reactions in a patient whose blood contains alcohol.

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 for 7 days after taking oral steroid tablets or prescribed steroid injections.

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 can give blood if the anaemia has been treated effectively and you no longer require treatment and the Haemoglobin (Hb) test carried out before giving blood shows that your Hb is in the acceptable range for donation.

You can give blood 12 months after finishing iron tablets if you had iron deficiency anaemia.

You cannot give blood if you are having medical investigations for anaemia or receiving treatment for anaemia.

You cannot give blood if the anaemia is persistent.

You cannot give blood if you have Pernicious Anaemia.

You cannot give blood if you are taking prescribed iron tablets or if you have been advised to take iron tablets to prevent anaemia.

You cannot give blood if you have angina even if you are well at present.

You cannot give blood if you have had an angioplasty even you no longer have symptoms.

You can give blood if you were bitten by an animal when the wound is fully healed.

You cannot give blood if you were bitten by a monkey/primate.

You cannot give blood if you currently have an infection. If antibiotics are taken for the treatment of an infection, you must be fully recovered for at least 14 days and have completed the course of antibiotics at least 7 days before donating.

You cannot give blood if you are taking antibiotics on an on-going basis to prevent an infection, for example because you had your spleen removed.

Acne / acne rosacea

You can give blood if you have acne and if there is no current infection. You can give blood if you are taking certain antibiotics on an ongoing basis to keep your acne under control. These include ByMycin, Clinimycin, Erymax, Erythrocin, Minocin SA, Minox 50, Stiemycin, Tetracycline, Tetralysal and Vibramycin 50.

You can give blood if you are taking Dianette for acne and if there is no current infection. If your skin is infected and you needed to take a course of antibiotics, you must be fully recovered for at least 2 weeks before you can give blood and you must also have finished the course at least one week before giving blood. You cannot give blood if you have ever been treated with Etretinate (Tigason). You can give blood 12 months after you have been treated with Acitretin (Neotigason)

You can give blood 4 weeks after finishing treatment with:

  • Adapalene (Differin)
  • Isotretinoin (Roaccutane)
  • Tazarotene (Zorac)
  • Tretinoin (Retin A)

You can give blood if your anxiety is mild or well controlled by medication as long as you are well on the day of donation. You must be well established on medication, i.e. for at least 4 weeks, and not have experienced any side effects.

You cannot give blood if you are very anxious or have not improved on your treatment.

If you are on medication and would like to discuss this with us, please contact us on our Donor Infoline 1850 731 137

You cannot give blood if your condition requires on-going treatment.

You cannot give blood if you ever had atrial fibrillation (A-Fib) even if it was intermittent or was successfully treated with cardioversion.

You cannot give blood if you have Long QT syndrome.

You can give blood if you have osteoarthritis (i.e. wear and tear arthritis) that is under good control and you can climb onto the donation bed without assistance, even if you take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other pain-killers regularly. However, you must tell us what medication you are taking as some medications can be harmful to a patient receiving a blood transfusion.

 

If you are waiting for an operation such as a hip or knee replacement, please let us know so that we can advise you if you should wait until after the operation before you give blood. See Surgery.

You cannot give blood if you have Rheumatoid Arthritis even if you do not require any treatment at present.

You can give blood if you had Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, as long as your arthritis is not active and you are completely well and have no symptoms and do not need treatment.

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 if you have active symptoms.

You cannot give blood if you have severe asthma.

Please call our Donor Infoline 1850 731 137 with any questions

Skin fungal infection - foot

You can give blood if the fungal infection is being treated only with a topical ointment or cream and there is no local inflammation.

You can give blood 7 days after taking tablets prescribed for fungal infection.

You can give blood while taking medication for blood pressure:

If your blood pressure is well controlled.

If you do not have low blood pressure when standing.

If the dose taken and the type of medication have not changed in the past 4 weeks.

If you have never had any complication of high blood pressure.

You CAN give blood if:

You received a blood transfusion in the Republic of Ireland before the 1st January 1980 or if the blood you received was your own blood, but you must wait for 12 months before you give blood.

You CANNOT give blood if:

You received a blood transfusion outside of Ireland at any time (unless the blood was your own).

You received a blood transfusion in Ireland since the 1st January 1980 (unless the blood was your own).

You cannot give blood for 1 year after:

-You received an Autologous Transfusion (i.e. a transfusion of your own blood).

-You received anti-D Immunoglobulin (in Ireland or in another country). This is a blood product that is given to women who are Rhesus negative during pregnancy or after the birth of a baby who is Rhesus positive.

You can give blood 4 months (120 days) after you had cosmetic treatment that involved piercing the skin.

If the cosmetic treatment that involved piercing the skin was carried out by a registered Medical Practitioner, you can give blood after 48 hours.

On your first attendance at a clinic we will only take blood samples from you and not a full donation if you were born outside if Ireland or the United Kingdom, provided you are otherwise eligible to donate blood.

You can give blood 4 months (120 days) after you have had Botox injected for cosmetic purposes by a non-medical practitioner.

You can give blood after 48 hours if Botox was administered by a Medical Practitioner registered with the Irish Medical Council.

If it was administered for a medical condition such as muscular spasm, please phone us on our Donor Infoline 1850 731 137

You can give blood if you are breastfeeding if it is 12 months since the birth of your baby.

You cannot give blood if you are pregnant or for 12 months following a miscarriage or following the birth of a baby.

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

There are 2 exceptions:

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

If you had Cervical Carcinoma in-situ and you have completed successful treatment and have had one clear cervical smear at least 6 months 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 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.

If you have any other question concerning drugs, please call our Donor Infoline 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 (MI)

Ischaemic Heart Disease / Coronary Heart Disease

Stroke / TIA

You cannot donateif 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 can give blood after a routine screening cervical smear test even if you don’t have the result

See also Cancer

Please call our Donor Infoline 1850 731 137 you have any questions

You can give blood 2 weeks after full recovery

Measles / Mumps / Chicken Pox / German Measles

You can give blood 4 weeks after you have been in contact with a person with

-Measles

-Mumps

-Chickenpox

-German measles

You can give blood 12 months following childbirth.

You can give blood if you are breast-feeding if you gave birth more than 12 months ago

You can give blood if you are having treatment from a chiropodist. You cannot give blood if you have any open wounds or infection.

You can give blood if you have raised cholesterol level even if you are taking cholesterol lowering medication as a treatment or prevention of coronary artery disease

You cannot give blood if you have angina or other symptoms of existing coronary artery disease

You cannot give blood if you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) at present or if you have had it in the past

You can give blood if your condition is treated by diet alone and you are well on the day

You cannot give blood if you have a cold. You must wait until you have fully recovered and are feeling fit and well.

You cannot give blood with an active cold sore if it is your first ever cold sore. You must wait until you are well and have no symptoms and the cold sore is fully healed.

If you had a cold sore in the past and you have a cold sore now, you can give blood as long as you are well and if the sores are healing (i.e. scabbing over and there is no tingling) and there is no infection (signs of which may include redness and / or oozing).

You can give blood 4 months (120 days) from the date of the following procedures if your results are clear

Colonoscopy

Gastroscopy

Bronchoscopy

O.G.D.

Sigmoidoscopy

Cystoscopy

Laryngoscopy

 

If you are unwell and /or you are waiting for further tests or results you cannot give blood

If conjunctivitis is due to infection, you must wait for 14 days after the condition is fully healed and at least 7 days after you completed a course of antibiotics.

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.

You can give blood while using oral or other contraceptive measures.

You can give blood 4 months (120 days) after you had cosmetic treatment that involved piercing the skin.

If the cosmetic treatment that involved piercing the skin was carried out by a registered Medical Practitioner, you can give blood after 48 hours.

You can give blood 4 months (120 days) after having permanent or semi-permanent make-up.

You cannot give blood if you have Crohn’s Disease.

You can give blood 14 days after the condition is fully healed and at least 7 days after you completed a course of antibiotics.

You can give blood if you had a DVT when you are completely recovered and you are off all anticoagulant treatment for at least 7 days. If you have had more than one episode of DVT, you cannot give blood

 

If you had an axillary vein thrombosis (i.e. in your upper limb) you cannot give blood, even if you only had one episode.

If you have an inherited condition that makes it more likely that you would have a DVT, such as Factor V Leiden or Protein C or Protein S deficiency, and you have not had a DVT, you can give blood. However, if these conditions caused even one DVT, you cannot give blood.

You cannot give blood if you have a toothache or you need pain-killers for tooth/dental pain.

You cannot give blood if you have an infection in your teeth or gums or you have a dental abscess.

You can give blood if you had a tooth inspection with no treatment.

You can give blood if you had a dental impression only.

You can give blood if you had fitting or adjusting of a dental brace.

You can give blood 24 hours after a scale and polish.

You can give blood 24 hours after an uncomplicated filling if you have no pain, bleeding or infection.

You can give blood 7 days after a dental cap or crown.

You can give blood 2 weeks after treatment for a dental abcess if no further treatment is planned and you are fully recovered. You must be pain-free when you give blood. If you took antibiotics, you must also have finished the course at least one week before giving blood.

You can give blood 7 days after an uncomplicated extraction if the wound is fully healed and you have no pain, bleeding or infection. If the extraction was complicated, you will have to wait longer before you can give blood. If you had bleeding after the extraction you should wait until the bleeding has stopped. If you had an infection you cannot give blood for at least 2 weeks after the infection is fully resolved and at least 1 week after you finished the course of antibiotics.

Dental Implant / Bovine Bone Graft

If the implant / graft has a CE mark in Europe (such as Bio-Oss, Bio-Gide, NuOss) you can give blood but you must wait until 7 days after the procedure has been completed. Please bring a note from your dentist to the blood donor clinic stating the type of implant / graft that has been used.

Root Canal Treatment

You can give blood if the root canal treatment was performed in the Republic of Ireland but you must wait until 7 days after the procedure has been completed.

 

If the treatment was performed in the United Kingdom between 01 January 1980 and 01 July 2007, you cannot give blood, unless your dentist used only single use disposable files and reamers. We require a note from your dentist confirming that this is the case. The UK includes Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man

If the treatment was performed in the UK after 01 July 2007, you can give blood but you must wait until 7 days after the procedure has been completed. It has been standard practice in the UK for dentist to only use disposable files and reamers, since 01 July 2007

You can give blood if you have depression if you are well on the day. Taking an antidepressant is generally not a cause for deferral if you are well established on your treatment (at least 4 weeks) and have no side effects from the medication.

You cannot give blood if you are severely depressed or have not improved on your treatment or are taking a number of types of medication.

You cannot give blood if you have Bipolar Illness (manic-depression) and are taking Lithium or other medication at present or have needed medication in the past.

If you are on medication and would like to discuss this with us, please contact us on our Donor Infoline 1850 731 137.

For Eczema and Dermatitis:

You can give blood if the area affected is small and is being treated with only an ointment or a cream and the venepuncture site at the elbow is not affected.

You can give blood if the venepuncture site at the elbow was affected and is now healed.

You cannot give blood if large areas of skin are affected until they are all healed.

You can give blood 2 weeks after an infected area has healed.

You cannot give blood of you are applying steroid creams over large areas.

You cannot give blood if you needed to take steroid tables for 6 months or more in the last 12 months even if you are not taking steroid tables at present. 

You cannot give blood for 12 months after you had treatment with PUVA.

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 oral hypoglycaemic tablets or insulin injections to control your diabetes

You can give blood 14 days after you are fully recovered from gastroenteritis.

You cannot give blood if you have Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s disease.

You can give blood if you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome if you are well and have no symptoms on the day of donation.

You cannot give blood if the cause of the diarrhoea is unknown and you are undergoing investigations.

You can give blood if you can climb onto the donation beds and you are able to straighten out your elbow fully so that a blood donation can be collected. We will also need to discuss the underlying cause of your disability as this may affect your ability to give blood if due to some medical conditions.

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.

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.

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

You can give blood 4 months (120 days) after you have had a piercing anywhere on the body.

For Eczema and Dermatitis:

You can give blood if the area affected is small and is being treated with only an ointment or a cream and the venepuncture site at the elbow is not affected.

You can give blood if the venepuncture site at the elbow was affected and is now healed.

You cannot give blood if large areas of skin are affected until they are all healed.

You can give blood 2 weeks after an infected area has healed.

You cannot give blood of you are applying steroid creams over large areas.

You cannot give blood if you needed to take steroid tables for 6 months or more in the last 12 months even if you are not taking steroid tables at present.

You cannot give blood for 12 months after you had treatment with PUVA.

You can give blood if you are having/had electrolysis if you are well on the day and your skin is not infected.

You can give blood if you are currently not in pain from your endometriosis and you feel well on the day of donation.

You may be eligible to donate if you are on medical treatment. Please phone our helpline to discuss any medication you are currently taking for Endometriosis.

You can donate 2 months after a laparoscopy that was part of your investigations/treatment for Endometriosis. If any other treatment is required or a referral is required post the laparoscopy this may prevent donation please phone our helpline for more information.

If you have heavy periods your haemoglobin may affected. This will be checked on clinic before you donate.

You can give blood 4 months (120 days) from the date of the following procedures if your results are clear:

Colonoscopy

Gastroscopy

Bronchoscopy

O.G.D.

Sigmoidoscopy

Cystoscopy

Laryngoscopy

 

If you are unwell and /or you are waiting for further tests or results you cannot give blood.

Please call our Donor Infoline 1850 731 137 if you had an investigation with rigid endoscopy.

If a condition was diagnosed, please check under the relevant condition or phone us so that we can advise you.

You cannot give blood if you are taking medication for epilepsy even if you have not had a seizure/fit for many years.

You can give blood if you have not needed to take any anti-convulsant medication in the past 3 years and you have not had a seizure/fit during this time.

You cannot give blood if you have had seizures/fits in the past three years.

You can give blood after exercise if you are well hydrated and have had adequate rest.

You cannot give blood if you are planning exercise afterwards.

You cannot give blood for 2 weeks before or after extreme exercise, eg marathon, triathlon.

You cannot give blood if you are taking eye drops for an eye infection.

If you are taking antibiotics for an eye infection you must wait for 14 days after you have fully recovered and at least 7 days after you completed a course of antibiotics

You can give blood if you are using eye drops for an allergy if you are well on the day of donation.

You can give blood if you are taking beta blocker eye drops to treat glaucoma if you have been taking this treatment for 4 weeks without any adverse symptoms and you have no symptoms of light-headedness or feeling faint.

You can give blood 14 days after you have fully recovered from gastroenteritis.

 

If you have any queries about your symptoms please phone Donor Infoline 1850 731 137.

You cannot give blood if you have a confirmed fracture.

You cannot give blood if you have a plaster cast on your arm/leg. You can give blood when the plaster cast is removed and you have fully recovered from your injury and you are discharged from medical care.

You cannot give blood if you require the use of crutches.

You can give blood if the fungal infection is being treated only with a topical ointment or cream and there is no local inflammation.

You can give blood 7 days after taking tablets prescribed for fungal infection.

You can give blood 6 months after you have made a full recovery from glandular fever. Glandular fever is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).

You can give blood if you are taking beta blocker eye drops to treat glaucoma and have been taking this treatment for 4 weeks without any adverse symptoms and if you have not got any symptoms of light-headedness or feeling faint.

You cannot give blood if you have had Gonorrhoea even if you were treated and have fully recovered.

You can give blood if you are on medication to prevent gout if you are well on the day of donation. You cannot give blood if you currently have gout. If you have an acute attack of gout or acute attacks are frequent, you can give blood when you are fully recovered and are pain-free.

You can give blood if:

-you are positive for the hereditary Haemochromatosis gene

and

-you do not require venesection

and

-you have not developed iron overload

and

-you have no complications of Haemochromatosis

OR

You can give blood if:

-You have been diagnosed with Haemochromatosis

and

-You have donated in the last 5 years

and

-You have no complications of Haemochromatosis

and

-You do not require more than 4 venesections a year

Please phone our donor helpline with any other questions about haemochromatosis 1850 731 137

Click here for more information 

The minimum Hb levels needed to give blood are:

12.5 g/dl in women

13.5 g/dl in men

 

Haemoglobin (Hb) is a protein that contains iron and is found in red blood cells. It carries oxygen around the body and gives blood its red colour. Your Hb will be tested before you give blood using a test that measures the levels of Hb in the small blood vessels of your finger.

You can give blood if your piles / haemorrhoids are not causing symptoms or produce symptoms infrequently.

If you have regular or severe bleeding, you can give blood 4 weeks (28 days) after the bleeding has stopped and has not recurred.

How long after surgery do I have to wait before I give blood?

The length of time in which you are allowed to give blood after surgery depends on:

The medical condition for which you had surgery

The type of surgery and recovery period

If you had a blood transfusion

If you are fully recovered and discharged from follow-up care

The reason you had surgery

Note: surgery in the U.K. after 1st January 1980 may mean that you are not eligible to donate. Please call us for further advice on 1850 731 137.

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).

Aircraft pilot / bus or train driver / crane operator / fireman / air traffic controller / police driver / diver / involved with climbing ladders or scaffolding.

You cannot give blood if you are on duty or will be going on duty or performing any of these activities on the same day. You can only give blood while off duty and you must not perform any of the above activities on the same day of donation.

If you are a pilot (commercial or for a hobby) you must not undertake any flying for 24 hours after donating.

If you are a member of a civil air crew you must not undertake any duties for 24 hours after donating.

If you are involved in diving / scuba diving you must not dive for 24 hours after donating.

If you are involved in parachuting or sky diving you cannot give blood if you will be parachuting or sky-diving in the 90 days after donating. If you were involved with parachuting or skydiving in the past but will not do so in the next 90 days you can give blood.

If you are a taxi driver and you have never give blood before, you cannot give blood if you are on duty or if you will be going on duty later on that day. If you have given blood in the past and did not have any complications of donating such as feeling light-headed or faint, you can give blood even if you are on duty.

You cannot give blood if you have a headache at present. You can give blood if get occasional mild headaches. You cannot donate if you have migraine at present. You can donate when you are well even if you are taking medication for migraine.

You cannot give blood if you ever had a heart attack even if you made a full recovery.

You cannot give blood if you have Hepatitis

You can give blood if you had Hepatitis A before you were 13 years old

*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

*You must wait at least 2 months after a laparoscopic procedure (i.e. key-hole surgery) or 6 months after an open surgery procedure, and be fully recovered and discharged from medical care, before you can give blood. See Surgery

You can give blood if you had jaundice at any age caused by a medication that you were prescribed and if you made a full recovery after it was stopped. You must wait for 12 months after stopping the medicine before you give blood

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 can give blood if you are well even if you are taking prescribed medication for a hernia.

SURGERY

How long after surgery do I have to wait before I give blood?

The length of time in which you are allowed to give blood after surgery depends on:

The medical condition for which you had surgery

The type of surgery and recovery period

If you had a blood transfusion

If you are fully recovered and discharged from follow-up care

The reason you had surgery

Note: surgery in the U.K. after 1st January 1980 may mean that you are not eligible to donate. Please call us for further advice on 1850 731 137.

ENDOSCOPY

You can give blood 4 months (120 days) from the date of the following procedures if your results are clear

Colonoscopy

Gastroscopy

O.G.D.

Sigmoidoscopy

If you are unwell and /or you are waiting for further tests or results you cannot give blood

Please call our Donor Infoline 1850 731 137 if you had an investigation with rigid endoscopy

If a condition was diagnosed, please check under the relevant condition or phone us so that we can advise you

Anaemia

You can give blood if the anaemia has been treated effectively and you no longer require treatment and the Haemoglobin (Hb) test carried out before giving blood shows that your Hb is in the acceptable range for donation.

You can give blood 12 months after finishing iron tablets if you had iron deficiency anaemia.

You cannot give blood if you are having medical investigations for anaemia or receiving treatment for anaemia.

You cannot give blood if the anaemia is persistent.

You cannot give blood if you have Pernicious Anaemia.

You cannot give blood if you are taking prescribed iron tablets or if you have been advised to take iron tablets to prevent anaemia.

Haemochromatosis

You can give blood if:

-you are positive for the hereditary Haemochromatosis gene

and

-you do not require venesection

and

-you have not developed iron overload

and

-you have no complications of Haemochromatosis

OR

You can give blood if:

-You have been diagnosed with Haemochromatosis

and

-You have donated in the last 5 years

and

-You have no complications of Haemochromatosis

and

-You do not require more than 4 venesections a year

Please phone our donor helpline with any other questions about haemochromatosis 1850 731 137

Click here for more information

The minimum Hb levels needed to give blood are:

12.5 g/dl in women

13.5 g/dl in men

 

 

You must not give blood for at least 12 months after you last had sex with another male, even ‘safer sex’ using a condom or pre-exposure prophlaxis (PeEP).

You can give blood if you are taking hormone replacement therapy for menopausal symptoms only.

You can give blood 4 months (120 days) after you had a human bite.

You cannot give blood if you have an infection at present. You must wait a certain time after some common infections, before you can give blood:

Cold

You can give blood when you are fully recovered

Flu (Influenza)

You can give blood 2 weeks after full recovery

Gastroenteritis

You can give blood 2 weeks after full recovery

Measles / Mumps / Chicken Pox / German Measles

You can give blood 2 weeks after full recovery

Chest / throat / ear / sinus infection

You can give blood 2 weeks after full recovery

If you took antibiotics, you must also have finished the course at least one week before giving blood

You must never give blood if you ever had the following infections even if you were treated for the condition:

Brucellosis

Q Fever

Malaria

Babesiosis

Chagas’ Disease

Leishmaniasis (Kala-Azar)

We cannot list every infection here so if you have had an infection that is not mentioned and you would like to know if you can give blood, please phone us on our low-call number 1850 731 137 and we can advise you

This depends on the type of infection that you have been in contact with. You must be in good health to give blood and must not have any symptoms of the infection that you were in contact with.

You can give blood if you have been in contact with a person with a cold, if you are well and do not have any symptoms of a cold. 

You can give blood if you have been in contact with a person with the flu (influenza), if you are well and do not have any symptoms of the flu. 

You can give blood 4 weeks after you have been in contact with a person with: 

-Measles

-Mumps

-Chickenpox

-German measles

If you have not had the infection yourself

You can give blood if you have been in contact with a person with one of these infections if you had the infection yourself in the past

If you have been in contact with a person with one of these infections, and you do not know if you had the infection yourself in the past, you must wait 4 weeks before you can give blood

If you are in any doubt as to whether or not you had the infection in the past, you must wait 4 weeks before you can give blood

You can give blood if you have been in contact with a person with malaria as long as you have not been to a malarial area yourself

If you have been to a malarial area please refer to Travel

You can give blood if you are well and the affected area is not red, swollen or infected.

You can give blood if you are well at present and have had no symptoms in the past month, even if you are on medication for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

You cannot give blood if you have / had leukaemia or lymphoma even if you have been treated and are recovered.

You cannot give blood if you have ME at present or if you have had it in the past.

You can give blood after a routine screening test / breast check, without waiting for the result of the test.

You cannot give blood if you had cancer even if you are well and fully recovered.

You cannot give blood while you are awaiting results of recent investigations other than routine screening tests such as a cervical smear or routine breast check.

You must wait until the results of the tests/investigations are available and you have been given a clean bill of health by your GP/hospital consultant or a condition has been diagnosed.

You cannot give blood if you are unwell or you are waiting to see a hospital consultant, doctor or specialist or are waiting for further tests or results.

If a diagnosis has been made, please check under the relevant condition or phone us so that we can advise if you can give blood.

It is important that you tell us the name of the medication you are taking and the reason you are taking it when you come to the donor clinic as some medications can be harmful to a patient receiving a blood transfusion.

Antibiotics 

You can give blood two weeks after you have fully recovered from infection. You must also have finished your course of antibiotics at least one week before giving blood.

You cannot give blood if you are prone to infections and/or you are taking antibiotics on a continuous basis, to prevent infection

Anti-coagulant therapy e.g. Warfarin, or Xarelto

You cannot not give blood if you are taking anti-coagulant treatment.

Anti-depressants  

See Depression

Anti-histamines:

 See Allergy

Cholesterol lowering medication

See Cholesterol

Contraceptives  

You can give blood while taking oral contraception pill or if you are using other contraceptive measures

High blood pressure medication

See Blood Pressure

Iron Tablets  

See Anaemia

Pain Killers

You can give blood if:

- If the reason for taking the medication does not exclude you from giving blood. 

- If you are in good health and are not in pain when you attend the blood donor clinic.

You can give blood after 2 weeks if you are fully recovered, off all medication and antibiotics and not under investigation or care of a doctor.

You cannot give blood if you are taking medication for seizures even if you have not had a seizure/fit for many years.

You can give blood if you have not needed to take any anti-convulsant medication in the past 3 years and you have not had a seizure/fit during this time.

You cannot give blood if you have had seizures/fits in the past three years.

You can give blood while menstruating if you pass the Haemoglobin screening test and you are not in discomfort or pain.

It is very important that you always tell us about any medication that you are taking or have taken in the past 5 days.

You cannot give blood if you are pregnant or if you think you may be pregnant.

You cannot give blood for 12 months/1 year following a miscarriage or stillbirth or termination of pregnancy.

You cannot give blood if you have MS, even if you are well at present.

You cannot give blood if you are waiting for surgery that is likely to require a blood transfusion or you are having surgery for any serious medical condition.

You cannot give blood if you are having any medical investigation or tests or if you waiting for results of investigations or tests.

Please call us for further advice on 1850 731 137.

How long after surgery do I have to wait before I give blood?

The length of time in which you are allowed to give blood after surgery depends on:

The medical condition for which you had surgery

The type of surgery and recovery period

If you had a blood transfusion

If you are fully recovered and discharged from follow-up care

The reason you had surgery

Note: surgery in the U.K. after 1st January 1980 may mean that you are not eligible to donate. Please call us for further advice on 1850 731 137.

You cannot give blood if you had an organ transplant.

You can give blood (whole blood only not platelets) if you have osteopenia even if you are taking prescribed medication for this.

You cannot give blood if you have osteoporosis. You may be accepted to give blood if you are taking prescribed medication to prevent osteoporosis – please phone our Donor Infoline to discuss this 1850 731 137.

You cannot give blood if you have Parkinson’s Disease, even if it is well controlled at present.

You can give blood 4 months (120 days) after having permanent or semi-permanent make-up.

You can give blood 4 months (120 days) after you have had a piercing anywhere on the body.

You can give blood if your piles / haemorrhoids are not causing symptoms or produce symptoms infrequently

If you have regular or severe bleeding, you can give blood 4 weeks (28 days) after the bleeding has stopped and has not recurred

You can give blood 3 months after full recovery from pneumonia and completion of all antibiotics.

If an underlying medical or related condition caused the pneumonia – please phone donor infoline 1850731137.

You can give blood 3 months after full recovery from a spontaneous pneumothorax if you do not have emphysema.

You cannot give blood if you are pregnant. You can give blood 12 months following childbirth, miscarriage, stillbirth or termination of pregnancy.

You can give blood if you are breast-feeding if you gave birth more than 12 months ago.

You can give blood 12 months after you left prison.

You cannot give blood if you had / have prostate cancer.

If you had any other prostate problems, please phone our donor infoline 1850 731 137.

You can give blood if the psoriasis is mild and you are not taking any tablet treatment and the condition does not affect the site where the needle is inserted.

You cannot give blood if you have more severe or generalised psoriasis or if you are taking oral medicines to treat the condition.

You can give blood for one month after treatment is complete and symptoms are mild

 

In the case of some medicines for psoriasis, a longer waiting period may be required. Please call Donor Infoline 1850 731 137.

You cannot give blood if you have a respiratory disease.

Can I give blood if I have / had asthma?

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 if you have active symptoms

You cannot give blood if you have severe asthma

Please call our Donor Infoline 1850 731 137 with any questions

You cannot give blood if you have Rheumatoid Arthritis even if you do not require any treatment at present

You can give blood if you had Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, as long as your arthritis is not active and you are completely well and have no symptoms and do not need treatment

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

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 Hepatitis C

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 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.

Can I give blood if I had / have a Sexually transmitted infection (STI)?

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

You can give blood 5 years after complete recovery and conclusion of treatment for other STIs

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

You can give blood 5 years after complete recovery and conclusion of treatment for other STIs

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

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 Hepatitis C

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 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 can give blood 2 weeks after you have fully recovered from shingles.

You must be feeling well and the rash must be completely clean and dry and not infected.

If you took anti-viral tablets, you must also have finished the course at least one week before giving blood.

You can give blood if you smoke. We strongly recommend you wait at least 1 hour after your donation before smoking to prevent risk of fainting.

You can give blood if you are using a nicotine replacement e.g. a nicotine patch IF you are not smoking.

You can give blood 3 months after oral treatment for gastric or duodenal ulcers if you no longer have symptoms

You can give blood 6 months after surgery e.g. partial gastrectomy for treatment of ulcers

You cannot give blood if you have had a total gastrectomy

Endoscopy

You can give blood 4 months (120 days) from the date of the following procedures if your results are clear

Colonoscopy

Gastroscopy

OGD

Sigmoidoscopy

If you are unwell and /or you are waiting for further tests or results you cannot give blood

You cannot give blood if you had a stroke or TIA.

If your sunburn is causing pain or you require medication (painkillers) do not donate until it has resolved.

You cannot give blood if you are waiting for surgery that is likely to require a blood transfusion or you are having surgery for any serious medical condition.

You cannot give blood if you are having any medical investigation or tests or if you waiting for results of investigations or tests.

Please call us for further advice on 1850 731 137.

How long after surgery do I have to wait before I give blood?

The length of time in which you are allowed to give blood after surgery depends on:

The medical condition for which you had surgery

The type of surgery and recovery period

If you had a blood transfusion

If you are fully recovered and discharged from follow-up care

The reason you had surgery

Note: surgery in the U.K. after 1st January 1980 may mean that you are not eligible to donate. Please call us for further advice on 1850 731 137.

You cannot give blood if you have SLE.

You can give blood 4 months (120 days) after having a tattoo.

You can give blood 12 months following childbirth, miscarriage, stillbirth or termination of pregnancy.

You can give blood 6 months from full recovery and completing antibiotic treatment.

You cannot give blood if you have ulcerative colitis even if you are well at present.

Vaccinations and deferral periods

Anthrax- 48 hours if well

BCG- 8 weeks and until healed

Botulism-48 hours if well

Cholera-48 hours if well

Diphtheria-48 hours if well

Influenza-48 hours if well

Hepatitis A-48 hours if well and no exposure.

Hepatitis B-4 weeks, 4 months if vaccine was received post exposure

e.g.: human bite, blood splash, or needle stick injury.

HPV (Human Papillomavirus) -48 hours if well

Japanese Encephalitis -48 hours if well

What are the Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) risks?

You spent 12 months or more in total / cumulatively in the United Kingdom (UK)* in the period 01 January 1980 to 31 December 1996.

- This includes living, working or on holidays. Brief trips, weekend visits, attending college, holidays, work or periods of residence must be included when calculating the length of time you spent in the UK

- The UK includes Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man

If you had certain operations / surgery in the UK since 01st January 1980.

-These include neurosurgery, eye surgery, laser eye treatment, appendectomy, tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, splenectomy and lymph node biopsy

If you had root canal treatment in the UK after 1 January 1980 and before 01 July 2007, unless their dentist had used only single use disposable files and reamers. It has been standard practice in the UK for dentist to only use disposable files and reamers, since 01 July 2007

If you had a blood transfusion in the UK or anywhere in the world since 01 January 1980 (unless it was your own blood)

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