There are about one billion red blood cells in two or three drops of blood.
Our Medical Officer will review your condition. Most bleeding disorders will result in permanent deferral from giving blood donations.
Hepatitis B and C, syphillis, HIV (AIDS) on all donations.
Medicines for the control of blood pressure are acceptable, providing your blood pressure is adequately controlled and stable, and you have not had low blood pressure when standing.
If you are taking a beta blocker medicine you will not be able to give a donation until you have been taking the medicine for 4 weeks without any problems, your pulse is over 60/minute and your blood pressure is in the range 100-160/(70 or higher). We will check these before you donate.
If you have had a blood transfusion, the waiting period before you can give blood is 12 months.
If you received only autologous blood (that is, you donated prior to a procedure and were transfused with your only own blood), then you are able to continue donating with a letter from your doctor verifying that the only blood transfused was your own blood.
If you had a blood transfusion in the UK, Ireland or France since 1980 then you are permanently deferred from donating.
It varies little according to weight and sex, but for a 70kg person it is about 5 litres, or 10 pints (70mL per kilo body weight).
If you have just had your ears or any other part of your body pierced and this was performed with clean, single use (disposable) equipment by a registered health professional (e.g. a Pharmacist, GP, Dentist, etc.) and any inflammation has settled completely, you can donate blood now.
If the piercing was performed by any other person you will need to wait for 6 months.
It is not advisable to donate blood while breast-feeding. Following childbirth, the deferral period is at least 9 months (as for pregnancy) and until 3 months after your baby is significantly weaned (i.e. getting most of his/her nutrition from solids or bottle feeding).
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