Keeping Blood Safe - Irish Blood Transfusion Service

Keeping Blood Safe

The IBTS is committed to supplying Irish hospitals with blood that is as safe as it can be. This means that we test every donation received for a number of diseases including, HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis E and HTLV. If you feel unwell after donating, or there is any reason why you think your donation should not be used, please contact us by phoning us at any time on 01-4322800 or 021-4807400 so that you can speak to a doctor. Please do not use text or email to contact us if you believe your donation should not be used. Within this section you will find information about: West Nile Virus, Zika Virus, Variant CJD, Hepatitis E, and the change to deferral criteria for men who have sex with men (MSM).

Never give blood if:

  • You have received a blood transfusion (other than an autologous transfusion) in the Republic of Ireland on or after the 1st January 1980
  • You received a blood transfusion (other than an autologous transfusion) outside the Republic of Ireland at anytime
  • You have ever used a needle to take unprescribed drugs, this includes body building drugs and injectable tanning agents
  • You or your partner has HIV or HTLV
  • You have had jaundice of uncertain cause after the age of 13 years
  • You have had hepatitis B or C

Do not donate blood for 12 months after:

  • You have visited a malarial area
  • You were pregnant or gave birth to a baby
  • You received an autologous blood transfusion 
  • You are MSM and have had oral or anal sex with another man, even if it was 'safer sex' using a condom, PrEP or other form of protection

Do not give blood for 6 months after:

  • You have had major surgery

Do not give blood for 4 months after:

  • You have had acupuncture. However, you will not need to wait 4 months if the acupuncture was performed by a medical practitioner registered with the Irish Medical Council or, by a registered general nurse, registered with An Bord Altranais, working for a medical practitioner who is registered as above or, by a chartered registered physiotherapist, registered with the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists. A certificate from your practitioner is no longer required.
  • You have had a piercing, tattoo or semi permanent make-up
  • You have had an endoscopy

Do not give blood for 3 months after:

  • You have visited a tropical area.

Do not give blood for 1 month after:

  • You have had contact with infectious diseases (where you have not previously been infected) e.g. chicken pox, mumps, measles or German measles.

Do not give blood for two weeks after:

  • You have fully recovered from the flu
  • You have fully recovered from gastroenteritis
  • You have fully recovered from an acute infection (and are off antibiotics for at least one week). If you are taking antibiotics for acne, please click here.

Do not give blood for one week after:

  • You have had a dental extraction

Do not give blood for 24 hours after:

  • You have had an uncomplicated dental filling or scaling

Do not give blood until you have recovered after:

  • A cold

For further information on other circumstances that might result in a deferral, please click here.

vCJD and Blood Donation

From 7th October 2019, the IBTS now accepts donations from people who have lived for a total of 1 year or more in the UK between 1st January 1980 and 31st December 1996.  By the UK we mean England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. 
For further information on vCJD read the page on vCJD


Find Information about Haemoglobin here

Blood Donation and Blood Safety Information

Find the Information you will be required to read on clinic before you donate blood