Who Can’t Give Blood?
Although most people are potentially able to give blood, some are not.
There are a variety of reasons why we might ask you not to give blood, but they fall into two main categories. Firstly, if evidence suggests that donating blood could potentially harm you, then to protect your safety we would ask you not to donate. Secondly, if evidence suggests that your donation could potentially harm the patient receiving it, then we would ask you not to donate.
This would include the situation where a specific behaviour may have put you at a higher risk of an infection which could be transmitted to a patient by blood.
Many of the rules implemented in the UK on who can give blood are a requirement of European law. However, there are a number of expert committees that regularly review the evidence relating to exclusions and deferrals from blood donation. Policies which specifically relate to the safety of blood for patients are recommended to the Government by the independent advisory committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO). A key part of their work is to ensure that the policies applied by the UK Blood Services are based on the best available scientific evidence.
If you are not able to give blood we know this can be disappointing. However, we hope you will understand that our overriding responsibility is to ensure the safety of donors and the safety of blood for patients.