When Shouldn't You Give Blood

By Max. D Gray. Updated: March 10, 2022
When Shouldn't You Give Blood

Blood donation is a selfless act that can help and save the lives of hundreds of patients. It's a basic requirement for emergency procedures, helping patients in need of transfusions and those suffering from blood loss, as well as supplying blood banks. Many people don't realise that blood plasma has an expiry date, so donated blood can't be stored forever if unused. When giving blood, doubts often arise and numerous myths exist as to when blood donation is not possible. In order to clarify better, this explains when you shouldn't give blood.

You may also be interested in: Can You Donate Blood if You Have Tattoos?

If you have donated less than 2 months ago

Blood donations can happen every two months, as long as you are healthy and can fulfill all the basic requirements for blood donation. However, if you gave blood less than 2 months ago, you need to wait until the minimum period has elapsed before donating again. This is because with every extraction, 450 cc of plasma is removed and your body needs to recover during those weeks.

You also can't make more than 4 donations each year.

When Shouldn't You Give Blood - If you have donated less than 2 months ago

If you think you've recently had an infection

24 hours after giving blood, blood is analysed for any infectious diseases so as to prevent any from being transferred to other patients, including HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and syphilis. However if any of these infections have been contracted recently and so are still in a window period, i.e. the time delay between an infection and the appearance of the virus, they can't be detected in an analysis.

If you've had sex without protection in recent months and think you might be infected with any of these conditions, it is best to avoid giving blood for everyone's safety. This applies until you've ruled it out by taking a blood test and after at least three months since the alleged infection, when you are considered healthy.

When you weigh less than 50 kilos

It's forbidden for people to give blood if you do not weigh at least 50 kilos. A person weighing less than 50 kilos can't do without 450cc of blood without it immediately affecting their health and well-being. For the donor's safety, such contributions are not permitted.

When Shouldn't You Give Blood - When you weigh less than 50 kilos

If you got a tattoo or piercing less than 4 months' ago

One of blood donation's greatest myths is that people who have tattoos and piercings can't give blood. This is completely false. However, it is true that if you have recently had a tattoo or piercing, you need to wait at least 4 months before giving blood. This is the period after which any serious infectious diseases can be detected in the blood, after being transmitted by the use of a contaminated needle, such as Hepatitis B and C or HIV.

When Shouldn't You Give Blood - If you got a tattoo or piercing less than 4 months' ago

Illnesses that prevent you from donating blood

Certain illnesses can prevent you from being a blood donor. People suffering from the following conditions and illnesses should not donate blood:

  • Insulin dependent diabetes
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Human immunodeficiency virus HIV
  • Syphilis

Additionally, pregnant women or those who are breastfeeding, may not donate until they have finished breastfeeding. People who have undergone a minor operation must wait one week before giving blood, whilst those who have undergone major surgery must wait 4 months.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to When Shouldn't You Give Blood, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

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