Reasons for not donating blood

World Blood Donor Day 2022: Here are all the things you need to consider before donating blood.

World Blood Donor Day 2022: Anyone under the age of 18 is considered unfit to donate blood

Voluntary blood donation by willing and able people is an invaluable initiative that saves lives. While most healthy people can donate blood regularly, many of whom take the initiative and do so, some people may be reluctant to donate blood and come up with excuses such as “others donate enough blood” or “my blood group is not in demand”. The article below will focus on valid reasons/situations for not donating blood.


If your age is under 18 or over 60/65; ordinarily, people in the above age groups are not required to donate blood.


If your body weight is less than 50 kg

Arterial pressure

It is acceptable to donate if your BP is above 90/50 mm Hg to below 180/100 mm Hg.


A donor whose pulse rate is between 50 and 100/min can make a donation.


1. If you suffer from an infection, for example, respiratory tract infections, acute gastroenteritis, etc.

2. If you have recently had a tattoo or body piercing, you cannot donate for 6 months from the date of the procedure. If the body piercing was done by a licensed medical professional and any inflammation has subsided completely, blood can be donated after 12 hours.

3. If you went to the dentist for a minor procedure, you must wait 24 hours before making a donation; for major work wait a month.

4. You should not donate blood If you do not reach the minimum hemoglobin level for blood donation. A hemoglobin level of at least 12.0 g/dl for women and at least 13.0 g/dl for men is the threshold.


If you have traveled to areas where mosquito-borne infections are endemic, for example malaria, dengue and Zika virus infections. Or if one has lived in an area where variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) is endemic. In these situations, blood donation is temporarily deferred.

Risky behaviors

If one has engaged in “risky” sexual activity in the past 12 months; it is preferable to postpone blood donation while waiting for HIV, hepatitis B and C screening tests.

People who have already tested positive for HIV (AIDS virus) or who have already injected recreational drugs will be permanently excluded.


A pregnant woman is exempted from donating blood: it is not recommended to donate blood while breastfeeding. After childbirth, the deferment period is at least 9 months, and up to 3 months after significant weaning of the baby.



No waiting period is required for whole blood donation. However, you must wait 2 full days after taking aspirin or any medicine containing aspirin before donating platelets by apheresis.

Other anticoagulants/anticoagulants

Contact an appropriate specialist to find out whether or not you can donate


As previously stated, a donor with an acute infection should not donate. The reason for the use of antibiotics should be assessed to determine if the donor has a bacterial infection that could be transmitted through blood. If the donor is on an oral antibiotic, he can donate blood on the day of the last antibiotic dose. If the donor was on an IV antibiotic, he must wait at least 10 days after the last injection

birth control

Women on oral contraceptives or using other forms of contraception can donate.


A 2-4 week waiting period is required if the donor has taken any form of live attenuated vaccine such as a Rubella or Covid vaccine. Personalized advice regarding specific vaccines can be requested from the blood bank for specific vaccines. However, for inactivated vaccines, there is no withdrawal period.


Diabetic donors taking any type of insulin are eligible to donate as long as their diabetes is well controlled.

HIV drugs

If a person is taking medication for post-exposure prophylaxis (preventive treatment given for accidental blood exposure/needlestick injuries), they should wait three months after treatment has finished to donate pending the HIV test. If a person is on treatment for an established HIV infection, they are not eligible to donate.

An organ recipient

If the potential donor has received any type of organ transplant, they must wait three months. People with non-living animal tissue such as bones or tendons are acceptable as blood donors. If the donor has already received a dura mater (brain covering) graft, they are not eligible to donate. If they have ever received a transplant of animal organs or live animal tissue, they are not eligible to donate blood.

(By Dr Siri Kamath, Senior Consultant Physician, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital, Bengaluru)

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