Information for women under 26 - Irish Blood Transfusion Service

Information for women under 26

Our guidelines are changing for female donors


What is changing?

New donation guidelines have been introduced for female blood donors less than 26 years of age. These guidelines are in relation to a donor’s estimated total blood volume (TBV) which takes account of both height and weight.

Note: this is not the same as your body mass index (BMI)

If you are 5ft 6inches (5’ 6”) (168cm) in height or above OR you are 10st 3lb (65kg) in weight or above, the changes do not apply to you, and you can donate. If however, you are less than 5’ 6” (168cm) in height AND less than 10st 3lb (65kg) in weight, your height and weight will need to be taken into consideration and if you DO NOT meet the new criteria you cannot donate for the time-being. If you don’t know your height and or weight, this can be measured at clinic – please ask.


Why is this changing?

Donation research and medical evidence have shown that based on height and weight, female donors of smaller build as indicated in the chart overleaf are at an increased risk of fainting following blood donation.


Does the change apply to me if I have already given a donation without any problems?

Yes, this change applies to all female donors, even those who have already given blood without any problems. We understand that this may be very disappointing for our donors who will not be able to donate but we look forward to welcoming you back in the future.


How can I check whether this applies to me?

The chart on the back of this information leaflet has a red area and a green area. If when matching your height with your weight, the colour of the box the two figures meet at is red, you will be unable to donate. If your weight and your height meet in a green box this restriction does not apply to you and you can donate.


Will I be able to come back in the future?

Yes! This only applies to female donors less than 26 years who do not meet the weight and height criteria. If your weight increases to meet our criteria before you reach 26 years you can come back to donate again. If your weight does not increase to meet the criteria before you reach 26 years, you can donate after your 26th birthday as long as you weigh a minimum of 50kgs.

   info for women under 25