Detailed eligibility criteria

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Pain - I don't like needles

It must hurt?

The finger prick, during the preliminary interview process is usually the only discomfort encountered by a blood donor.

Most donors don't mind the slight discomfort - after all it saves lives.

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Can I donate?

Please call your local Donor Centre  or 0800 GIVE BLOOD (0800 448 325) and ask to speak with a nurse to find out if you are eligible.

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Parkinson's Disease

–I have Parkinson’s disease. Can I donate?

Unfortunately you will not be able to give blood donations. This requirement exists because of the stiffness and mobility problems that develop with Parkinson’s Disease and affect collection of blood donations or may create a risk after giving blood.

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Does the NZ Blood Service pay donors for donations?

No. NZ Blood Service receives only voluntary donations of blood. This is in keeping with international World Health Organisation and Red Cross policy that encourages the concept of voluntary non-remunerated blood donation to support a safe blood supply.

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Piercings - ears and other parts of the body:

I have just had a piercing. Can I donate?

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 after 12 hours. If the piercing was performed by any other person you will need to wait for 4 months.

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Piles /haemorrhoids

I have piles / haemorrhoids. Can I donate?

If your piles / haemorrhoids are not causing symptoms or produce symptoms infrequently, you may donate. If regular or severe bleeding is present, we ask you to wait for one month after the last episode.

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Pituitary Disorders

I have a tumour in my pituitary gland. Can I donate?

If the tumour you have is benign, you can donate blood as long as you are otherwise fit and well. If you had a surgery for this tumour before 1990 then we will have to ask you not to donate blood.

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What is it used for?

Plasma is the yellow liquid portion of blood, containing mainly water and proteins. Plasma is used to replace the proteins if there is a deficiency. Some of these proteins make our blood clot, some protect us from infection. Proteins also help to keep the fluid in our blood vessels.

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What are they used for?

Platelets help to stop bleeding by plugging the wound and are used to treat patients with low platelets and bleeding.

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I have had pneumonia recently. When can I donate?

If you are fully recovered and no underlying medical or related condition caused the pneumonia, we will ask you to wait until 3 months after full recovery and completion of antibiotic treatment.

If you have any other underlying medical condition, this will need to be discussed with our Medical Officer.

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I have had a pneumothorax. Can I donate?

If the pneumothorax was spontaneous and not due to emphysema, you will be able to donate after full recovery. If you had a traumatic pneumothorax and do not have emphysema, you will be able to donate 3 months after the injury and complete recovery.

If you have a pneumothorax and emphysema it will not be possible for to give blood donations again.

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Polycythaemia (rubra) vera

I have polycythaemia (rubra) vera. Can I donate?

Polycythaemia (rubra) vera is a disease of the bone marrow causing over-production of red blood cells. One of the treatments for this condition is regular removal of blood (venesection) and your doctor may have even referred you to the NZ Blood Service for venesection. Due to the underlying condition affecting your bone marrow, your donation cannot be used for transfusion.

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I am pregnant. Can I donate?

Blood donations are not collected from a pregnant woman to avoid any stresses on the mother's or baby's circulation, or on the mother’s iron levels. After childbirth a woman should wait for a further 9 months to allow adequate time for iron stores to be built up. This is extended if a woman is breastfeeding. See also breast-feeding or miscarriage.

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Prostate Problems

I have a prostate problem. Can I donate?

If you have benign prostatic hypertrophy (non-malignant increases in size of prostate gland) and are taking alpha blockers for this, you may be able to donate.

If you have or had in the last 5 years a prostate cancer we will have to ask you not to donate blood.

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I have psoriasis. Can I donate?

If the psoriasis is mild and you are not taking any tablet treatment, and the condition does not affect the front of the elbow at the site used to insert the blood collection needle, you will be able to give blood.

If you have more severe or generalised psoriasis or are taking oral medicines to treat the condition, we will ask you to wait for one month after treatment is completed and symptoms reduced to a mild level.

In the case of some medicines, a longer waiting period may be required. Please call your local Donor Centre  or 0800 GIVE BLOOD (0800 448 325) and ask to speak with a nurse to find out if you are eligible.

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