Certain eligible Haemochromatosis patients can now give blood at all whole blood clinics - Irish Blood Transfusion Service

Certain eligible Haemochromatosis patients can now give blood at all whole blood clinics

The Haemochromatosis programme enabling certain eligible Hereditary Haemochromatosis (HH) patients to become regular blood donors has now been rolled out to all whole blood donation clinics.

Potential donors must meet the Haemochromatosis criteria below AND standard blood donation criteria, to be able to attend clinics to give blood which can then be used to save patients lives throughout the country. You will not need a prescription from your doctor to donate. 

When attending their local clinic, members of the public who have Hereditary Haemochromatosis (HH) will have their eligibility to donate assessed by completing a Health and Lifestyle Questionnaire (HLQ). There is a new question on the HLQ asking about a diagnosis of or treatment for HH, please answer yes if this applies to you.

You may be Accepted to donate if:

  • You do not suffer from complications as a result of HH e.g. cardiac, liver
  • You don't require and have never required venesection

OR

You may be Accepted to donate if:

  • You do not suffer from complications as a result of HH e.g. cardiac, liver
  • You require maintenance venesections of no more than 8 per year (you can only attend an IBTS clinic 4 times per year with a minimum of 90 days between phlebotomies) 
  • You must have had at least 1 therapeutic venesection without complication
  • You have not had a venesection in the last two weeks
  • You have completed iron depletion therapy

Following an interview with IBTS staff:

  • If you fulfil all other IBTS criteria to donate, we will measure your haemoglobin level using a finger prick test. If the result is within range we will collect a donation of blood along with samples for testing.   
  • If you are temporarily deferred from donating, we will measure your haemoglobin level using a finger prick test  and venesect you into a dry pack (i.e. not for patient use in a hospital) on the day you attend. We will collect samples with the venesection and carry out our standard tests. We will inform you of the length of time the deferral will apply and you may attend the clinic for a therapeutic venesection (i.e. not for patient use in a hospital), while the deferral is in place.Exception: If you are not feeling well on the day you attend (e.g. flu or chest infection), we will not venesect you. 
  • If you are permanently excluded from donating, the IBTS will not collect any blood or blood samples from you on a whole blood clinic.  

The IBTS will NOT monitor your Ferritin levels; you must continue to attend your treating physician for the management of your HH.  

Phlebotomies will be at a maximum frequency of 4 per year with a minimum of 90 days between phlebotomies.

You can check for standard blood donation criteria which you must meet to be a blood donor, and you can check for upcoming clinics here

 - Call 1850731137 if you have any further queries -

Updated 12th December 2018