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Can I give blood?

Blood drop

Most people can give blood. If you are generally in good health, between the ages of 17 and 70 (65 for your first donation) and weigh at least 7 stone 12lbs (50kg), you could start giving blood.

  • Male donors can give blood every 12 weeks (4 times per year).
  • Female donors can give blood every 16 weeks (3 times per year). 
  • Women between the ages of 17 and 19 who weigh less than 10 stone 3lbs (65kg) and whose height is below 5 feet 6 inches (168cm) need to have their blood volume estimated before giving blood. Please see the chart below. If your blood volume is within the shaded area you will be unable to donate until after your 20th birthday.  

This additional guideline has been introduced to minimise the risk of feeling unwell or faint after giving blood.

Blood chart

The following information is a guide to help you decide if you are eligible to give blood and to ensure the safety of donors and the safety of patients who may receive your blood.

You should not give blood if:

  • You are a male donor with less than 12 weeks interval between donations.
  • You are a female donor with less than 16 weeks interval between donations.
  • You have a sore throat, chesty cough or active cold sore. You can donate once you are feeling well (end of a cold is ok) and the cold sore is dry and healing.
  • You are currently taking antibiotics or you have just finished a course within the last 7 days or have had an infection in the last 2 weeks.
  • You have had hepatitis or jaundice in the last 12 months.
  • You have had a tattoo, semi-permanent make up or any cosmetic treatments that involves skin piercing in the last 12 months.
  • You have had acupuncture in the last 12 months, unless this was done within the NHS or by a qualified Healthcare Professional registered with a statutory body.
  • A member of your family (parent, brother, sister or child) has suffered with CJD (Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease).
  • You have ever received human pituitary extract (which was used in some growth hormone or fertility treatments before 1985)
  • You have received blood or think you may have received blood during the course of any medical treatment or procedure anywhere in the world since 1 January 1980. 

You may not give blood if:

  • You have had a serious illness or major surgery in the past or are currently on medication.  The reason you are taking medication may prevent you from giving blood.
  • You have had complicated dental work. Simple fillings as ok after 24 hours; simple extractions are ok after 7 days.
  • You have been in contact with an infectious disease or have been given certain immunisation in the last 4 weeks.
  • You are presently on a hospital waiting list or undergoing medical tests.
  • You have got or had any heart conditions.
  • You do not weigh over 7stone 12lbs (50kgs). Please note, if you are female and aged between 17 and 19 years, weigh less than 10stone 3lbs (65kgs) and are less than 5’6” (168cm) in height, we need to confirm your estimated blood volume is over 3500ml.

You should never give blood if:

  • You have ever had syphilis, HTLV (Human T Cell lymphotropic Virus), HIV or Hepatitis C.
  • You are a man who has had anal or oral sex with another man with or without a condom.
  • You’ve ever worked as a commercial sex worker.
  • You’ve ever injected yourself with drugs – even once.

You should not give blood for 12 months after sex with:

  • A man who has sex with another man (if you’re a female).
  • A commercial sex worker.
  • Anyone who has ever injected themselves with drugs.
  • Anyone with haemophilia or a related blood clotting disorder who has received clotting factor concentrates.
  • Anyone of any race, who has been sexually active in parts of the world where AIDS/HIV is very common. This includes countries in Africa. 

Pregnancy

  • You should not give blood if you are pregnant or you are a woman who has had a baby in the last 6 months.
  • You can donate if you are breast feeding.
  • If you have had a miscarriage or termination before 12 weeks it may be possible for you to donate.       

Travel

Please inform the session staff if you have travelled outside of the UK as it may affect whether you can give blood or not.  Mosquitoes and other insect bites can cause travel related infections and our session staff need to ensure that you are ok to give blood on the day.

Alternatively you may call our donor secretaries on 650637 for further details or check the donor guidelines directly for countries/areas you have visited  http://www.transfusionguidelines.org.uk/dsg/gdri 

If you have any questions or queries about your eligibility to donate please contact us:

Isle of Man Blood Transfusion Service

Pathology Department

Nobles Hospital

Strang

Douglas

IM4 4RA

HELPLINE OPENING HOURS

9am to 5pm Monday to Friday

Telephone:+44 1624 650637

Email:Send Email

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