Detailed eligibility criteria

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I had cancer. Can I donate?

A person who has had an adequately treated skin cancer (squamous cell cancer or basal cell cancer) and has no recurrence of the cancer, can donate.

If you have a solid tumour (not leukaemia or lymphoma) which has been successfully treated and proved to be clear of disease for at least five years - you may donate.

A person who has had cervical cancer-in-situ may give blood and apheresis donations.

Please call your local Donor Centre  or 0800 GIVE BLOOD (0800 448 325) and ask to speak with a nurse if you have any queries about eligibility.

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I have chickenpox. Can I donate?

You can donate 4 weeks after a complete and full recovery.

When all your spots are completely clean and dry, NZ Blood Service may be able to use your plasma to provide valuable antibodies to treat people at risk of infection from chickenpox. If you live near one of our main Donor Centres, please tell us about your chickenpox infection as soon as possible as we may wish to arrange special tests to check your chickenpox antibody level. Please call your local Donor Centre or 0800 GIVE BLOOD (0800 448 325) and ask to speak with a nurse.

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How long after the birth of my baby. Can I donate?

At least 9 months after the birth, but if you are still breast-feeding at this time, you will need to wait until 3 months after your baby is significantly weaned. See also breast-feeding.

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I have had my gall bladder removed. Can I donate?

You must be fully recovered from the surgery. You will need to wait a minimum of three months after a laparoscopic procedure or six months after an open surgery procedure.

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I have had cholecystitis recently. Can I donate?

You will need to wait for 4 weeks from complete recovery and after completing antibiotic treatment.

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I take medication for cholesterol reduction. Can I donate?

Cholesterol-lowering medication prescribed to prevent coronary artery disease does not affect your eligibility to donate. However, people who have angina or other symptoms of existing coronary artery disease must not donate blood for personal safety reasons.

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Chronic fatigue syndrome

I have/had chronic fatigue syndrome. Can I donate?

People with a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are permanently deferred from donating blood in New Zealand.

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Coeliac disease

I have coeliac disease. Can I donate?

If your condition is treated by diet alone and you are well, you may give blood donations. If you require other medical treatment this will be discussed with our Medical Officer but is likely to lead to permanent deferral from giving blood.

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Cold sores

Can I donate if I have a cold sore?

You cannot donate if the cold sore is still active, but once it is clean and dry, or healed, you can donate blood.

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I have a cold. Can I donate?

For your safety and for the safety of the people who receive your blood, you should not donate until 1 week after you are fully recovered and feeling fit and well.

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I have had a colonoscopy. Can I donate?

If you have had a colonoscopy, gastroscopy and/or other endoscopies with a flexible endoscope, you will have to wait for 4 months from the date of the procedure. 

Investigations with rigid endoscopes – please call your local Donor Centre or 0800 GIVE BLOOD (0800 448 325) and ask to speak with a nurse to discuss this.

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I was knocked unconscious. Can I donate?

We will need to discuss the circumstances of the accident with you.

In general, if you are fully recovered, have been discharged from medical follow up and are off all medicines, you will be able to give blood donations.

If you have not fully recovered, we recommend waiting three months from full recovery.

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What if I use condoms every time?

Condoms reduce the risk, but there is always a very small risk, if the condom breaks or is not used properly, of transmission.

The relative risk of HIV transmission is much higher with a transfusion of infected blood than with sexual intercourse with an infected partner.

This justifies a more stringent approach to risk reduction for transfusion.

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I have conjunctivitis. Can I donate?

If the conjunctivitis is due to an allergy – see Allergy above.

If conjunctivitis is due to infection. You will need to wait for one week after the condition is fully settled and you are off antibiotics.

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Contraceptive pill

I take birth control pills. Can I donate?

Yes. Taking birth control pills (oral contraceptives) has no effect on your ability to donate blood and the action of the contraceptive pill is not affected.

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Corneal Graft - corneal transplant

I have had a corneal transplant. Can I donate?

After receiving a corneal transplant it is not possible to give blood donations. This requirement exists as rare cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease have occurred overseas after corneal grafting.

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Correctional institutions

Why doesn't the NZ Blood Service collect blood from inmates of correctional institutions?

The reason for this restriction is that the risk of getting hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections is much higher in the prison populations compared to the general community.

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Crohn's Disease

I have crohn'’s disease. Can I donate?

It will not be possible for you to give blood donations if you have Crohn’s Disease. The cause of this condition is not yet certain and giving blood may adversely affect your health.

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I have had cystitis recently. Can I donate?

We will ask you to wait for one week from full recovery and after your last dose of antibiotic treatment.

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Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection

I have been diagnosed with cytomegalovirus infection. Can I donate?

After cytomegalovirus infection we will ask you to wait for six months from full recovery before donating blood.

If you have any other underlying health problem which caused more severe cytomegalovirus infection than usual, this may affect whether or not you can give blood donations again.

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