Health and Eligibility

Get to know if any health conditions, ailments, medications, age, nutrition could affect your ability to give blood and travel. Please read through these snippets/foot-notes for that information. Can also follow up further with the links provided in each button.

Blood donation is safe for healthy adults. There's no risk of contracting disease. New, sterile equipment is used for each donor
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Regular blood donations by a sufficient number of healthy people are needed to ensure that safe blood will be available whenever and wherever it is needed. Bloodis the most precious gift that anyone can give to another person — the gift of life.
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You must be at least 17 years oldto donate to the general blood supply, or 16 years oldwith parental/guardian consent, if allowed by state law. There is no upper age limit for blood donation as long as you are well with no restrictions or limitations to your activities.
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In general, people with tattoos can donate blood. So, if you have got a tattoo in one of these 11 locations within the past 12 months, you'll need to wait until after that time to donate blood. State-regulated facilities must use sterile needles, and the ink applied must not be reused, explained the Red Cross.
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Side effects of the donation of platelets generally fall into three categories: blood pressure changes, problems with vein access, and effects of the anticoagulant on the donor's calcium level. Blood pressure changes can sometimes cause nausea, fatigue, and dizziness.
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The American Red Cross does allow some people with a history of cancer to donate blood but they must meet the following requirements: You must wait at least 12 monthsfollowing the completion of treatment to donate your blood. You cannot have had a recurrence of cancer.
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You may give blood during aperiod, but if you are having a particularly heavy period it would be better for you not to. This is because any form of  blood loss can reduce the iron levels in your body and potentially make you feel unwell for a short time. Read further here.

You may donate blood if you have been symptom-free for at least 2 weeks and have not used antibiotics for at least 2 weeks. This applies to regular bladder infections. If you have a chronic bladder infectionor a bladder infection due to a particular cause, please contact the Blood Bank at 0800 122 422

Donors with a history of non-autoimmune thyroid disease (such as a thyroidnodule) should be able to donate blood if their thyroid hormone levels are normal and they are not currently on anti-thyroid medication. Removing blood duringdonation can therefore put the donor at risk of developing heart complications.
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Your blood donor center can best answer your questions. Aspirin and ibuprofen will not affect a whole blood donation. However, apheresis platelet products can be effected if aspirin or aspirin products are taken 48 hours prior to donation. Many other medications are acceptable.
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  • In the days before your donation, eat healthy, iron-rich foods such as spinach, red meat, fish, poultry, beans, iron-fortified cereals and raisins.
  • Get a good night's sleep.
  • At least 3 hours before donating, eat a balanced meal and avoid fatty foods, such as hamburgers, fries, or ice cream.

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AB Elite Plasma Donation

  • Donation frequency: Every 28 days, up to 13 times/year.
  • You must have type AB blood.
  • You must be in good health and feeling well
  • You must be at least 17 years old.
  • You must weigh at least 110 lbs.

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No, you can't donate blood if you have had cancer.
The UK Blood Transfusion and Tissue Transplantation services have guidelines about who can donate blood.
The guidelines say that you can't donate blood if you have had cancer because there is a theoretical risk that a cancer cell could be passed on in the blood. . There is no evidence to prove that this is possible. It is very much a safety measure.
There are exceptions. You may be able to donate blood if you:

  • have had basal cell skin cancer which has been completely removed and your wound has healed.
  • have had treatment for a pre cancerous condition and are no longer having follow up. You may have had treatment for abnormal cervical cells and your follow up test did not show any abnormal cells and you have been discharged

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In most cases, medications will not disqualify you as a blood donor. However, there are a handful of drugs that do have an impact on your blood donation. If you're taking these medications, there are waiting periods following your last dose before you can give blood.

In most cases, medications will not disqualify you as a blood donor.

Those taken for high blood pressure and allergies, birth control pills, vitamins and diet pills do not affect your eligibility. Over-the-counter oral homeopathic medications, herbal remedies and nutritional supplements are also acceptable.

However, there are a handful of drugs that do have an impact on your blood donation. If you’re taking these medications, there are waiting periods following your last dose before you can give blood.

Anti-platelet agents affect platelet function, so if you take them you have to wait between two to 14 days to donate platelets. However, you may still be able to donate whole blood.

Anticoagulants, or “blood thinners,” are used to reduce the risk of blood clots and stroke. Because these medications affect your blood’s ability to clot, if you’re taking anti-clotting medications you are not allowed to donate blood for a minimum of two to seven days (depending on the specific medication) after your last dose to prevent excessive bleeding and bruising that may occur when you donate.

Pregnant women are a key group of blood transfusion recipients, but there are some medications that should not be given to expectant mothers. Certain acne, balding, enlarged prostate and psoriasis treatments can cause birth defects if your donated blood contains high enough levels to damage the unborn baby. You won’t be able to donate while you are taking them for a certain time period afterwards to ensure they are not still in your blood.

If you are treated for hepatitis exposure with Hepatitis B Immune Globulin (HBIG), you will not be able to donate blood for 12 months following your injection. HBIG is used to prevent a hepatitis B infection, but it is not guaranteed to do so. Therefore, someone who has received the vaccine must wait to make sure they do not develop the disease before donating.
Erivedge, used to treat basal cell skin cancer, and Aubagio, a treatment for relapsing multiple sclerosis, can be deadly for an unborn baby if transfused to a pregnant woman. Once the medication has been cleared from your blood, a process that takes 24 months, you may donate blood again.

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These 7 Medications Can Prevent You From Donating Blood.

  • 1) Acne medications – isotretinoin.
  • 2) Finasteride and dutasteride.
  • 3) Psoriasis medication – Soriatane (acitretin)
  • 4) Antiplatelet medications.
  • 5) Blood thinners.
  • 6) Growth hormone injections.
  • 7) Multiple sclerosis medication – Aubagio.

These 7 Medications Can Prevent You From Donating Blood.

  • Being imprisoned rules one out as a blood donor.
  • Being in the military and serving in a war rules one out as a blood donor for one year.
  • A person with diabetes is allowed to donate blood. Insulin dependent diabetics are allowed to donate blood as long as their insulin syringe, if reused, is used only by them.
  • Being deferred from travel to the UK and Western Europe due to concerns about Mad Cow Disease rules one out as a blood donor.
  • Physically small people are not acceptable as blood donors as they have lower blood volumes and may not be able to safely lose a full pint of blood.
  • One may not donate blood while one has the flu. But one can donate blood after exposure to someone with the flu provided the potential donor feels and has no symptoms.
  • A minimum age limit exists as to how old a person must be in order to donate blood (usually age 17). There is no maximum age limit.
  • Pregnancy and recent childbirth rule one out as a blood donor. The safety of donating blood during and shortly after pregnancy has not been fully established. There may be medical risks to the mother and baby during this time.
  • Having high or low cholesterol does not exclude a person from donating blood.
  • Potential blood donors may be temporarily prevented from donating if they have a low level of iron (hematocrit) in their blood. This requirement is for the safety of the donor in order to ensure that their blood iron level remains within the normal range for a healthy adult.
  • For almost all cancers (such as breast, brain, prostate, and lung), a person may donate blood five years after diagnosis or date of the last surgery, last chemotherapy or last radiation treatment.
  • For blood cancers (such as leukemia or lymphoma), a person is not allowed to donate blood.
  • For non-melanoma skin cancer or a localised cancer that has not spread elsewhere, a person may give blood if the tumour has been removed and healing is complete.
  • If a potential donor has had malaria they cannot donate blood for 12 months. This is because the parasite that causes malaria can lay dormant in a person's system for as long as a year.
  • A person cannot donate blood while they are on antibiotics. This is not because of the antibiotic, but due to the presence of the illness or infection requiring the antibiotic - it may be transmitted through the blood.

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