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 WHEN NOT TO DONATE

When not to donate

Despite your best intentions, there are unfortunately certain circumstances that will prevent you from donating blood from time to time. Read through this list before heading off to the donor clinic, and make sure that you're fit to donate.

 

You won't be able to donate if you

  • don’t meet our basic donor criteria
  • haven’t eaten something three to four hours before giving blood
  • have any infection (even a cold!) – you need to be symptom-free for at least 7 days
  • are being treated with antibiotics – you must wait at least a week after finishing treatment
  • have had major surgery within the past six months
  • are expecting to have surgery within six weeks
  • are pregnant, or gave birth in the past three months
  • are breastfeeding your baby
  • have had sex with a new partner within the past six months
  • have had more than one sexual partner in the past six months
  • have had sexual contact in the past six months with someone whose sexual background is unknown to you
  • suspect that there's a chance you may have contracted a sexually-transmitted disease such as HIV or syphilis
  • are aware of the fact that you have contracted a sexually-transmitted disease such as HIV or syphilis
  • are taking certain medication or have had any serious illness. Please discuss this with the clinic nurse on duty or call us and ask to speak to Sr Judith at 061 386 300.

                                                                           

Your honesty is vital

As a Blood Service, we havean obligation towards patients to deliver safe, uncontaminated blood. It is therefore vital that you are completely honest with us before donating blood. We have no intention of discriminating or offending you. We simply want what’s best for both our patients and our donors.If you have any doubts or queries, please discuss them with a member of our staff at your nearest facility, or contact Sr Judith at 061 386 300.


 

FAQs – Who can donate?

Who can give blood?

Most people are able to give blood if they

  • are between the ages of 16 – 65
  • weigh more than 50 kg
  • lead a sexually safe lifestyle
  • enjoy general good health
  • are committed to helping others and will therefore donate for the right reasons

 Parental consent form for 16-17 year olds

 

Why can’t everyone donate blood?

Every time a person gives blood they must meet donor eligibility criteria designed to safeguard the health of both the donor and the recipient. The Blood Service regularly reviews the donor guidelines to ensure they continue to meet international quality assurance standards.

 

Under what circumstances can I not give blood? 

Unfortunately you can never give blood if

  • You are HIV positive
  • You have Hepatitis B
  • You have suffered a heart attack or stroke
  • You have Diabetes 1 and inject yourself with insulin
  • You are pregnant and or breastfeeding
  • You suffer from anaemia
  • You have had cancer

 

Unfortunately, you will not be able to give blood on the day if you:

  • don’t meet our basic donor criteria
  • haven’t eaten something three to four hours before giving blood
  • have any infection (even a cold!) – you need to be symptom-free for at least 7 days
  • are being treated with antibiotics – you must wait at least a week after finishing treatment
  • have had major surgery within the past six months
  • are expecting to have surgery within six weeks
  • have had sex with a new partner within the past six months
  • have had more than one sexual partner in the past six months
  • have had sexual contact in the past six months with someone whose sexual background is unknown to you
  • suspect that there's a chance you may have contracted a sexually-transmitted disease such as HIV or syphilis
  • are aware of the fact that you have contracted a sexually-transmitted disease such as HIV or syphilis
  • are taking certain medication or have had any serious illness. Please discuss this with the clinic nurse on duty or call usand ask to speak to Sr Judith at 061 386 300.

 

I’ve recently had alcohol. Can I still donate? 

No. NamBTS does not take blood from anyone under the influence of alcohol because intoxication can affect the ability to understand and answer the donor questionnaire and declaration, and to tolerate blood withdrawal.

 

I am taking antibiotics. Can I donate?

This will depend on why you are taking the antibiotics.

If you are taking antibiotics for a current infection, the infection must have resolved at least one week ago and the antibiotics completed five days before donating.

If you are taking preventative antibiotics (minocycline, doxycycline or erythromycin) for mild acne then you are able to donate. Preventative antibiotics used where there is not current infection are acceptable in some cases. If in doubt, contact us.

 

I’m on antidepressants. Can I donate? 

Yes, if you are physically healthy. Taking an antidepressant is generally not a cause for deferral as long as you are well and have no side-effects from the medication.

 

I take high blood pressure medicine. Can I donate? 

Yes, if blood pressure is normal and controlled. Medicines for the control of blood pressure are acceptable, providing your blood pressure is adequately controlled, stable and you are not experiencing any side effects related to your medication.

 

I had cancer. Can I donate?

In most cases, yes, after five years of treatment. The five year deferral is to protect the donor’s health by ensuring as far as possible that the cancer is gone and will not recur. However, people with a history of cancers such as leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma that involve the blood production system directly, are permanently excluded from donating for the benefit of their own health. Please contact usfor more information.

 

I take medication for cholesterol reduction. Can I donate?

Yes. Cholesterol-lowering medication prescribed to prevent coronary artery disease does not affect your ability to donate. People with existing coronary artery disease however, should not donate for the sake of their own health and safety.

 

I take birth control pills. Can I donate?

Yes. Taking oral contraceptives has no effect on your ability to donate.

 

I am having my period. Can I donate?

Yes. If you feel well on the day of donation.

 

I have diabetes. Can I donate?

Yes, if you have no complications from your diabetes such as eye, blood vessel related or kidney problems and your condition is well controlled through diet or oral medication. If you require insulin injections however, to control your diabetes, you will not be able to donate. Please contact us for more information.

 

I survived a heart attack. Can I donate?

No, for your own health and safety.

 

I had hepatitis. Can I donate?

You can donate blood after 12 months of full recovery if you had hepatitis A or B. Please note however, that you can never donate if you have/had hepatitis C.

 

I have had a stroke. Can I donate?

Unfortunately no, for your own health and well-being.

 

I just got a new piercing. Can I donate?

No. Only after 6 months of getting the piercing, are you eligible to donate.

 

I just got a new tattoo. Can I donate?

No. Only after 6 months of getting a tattoo, are you eligible to donate.