The Irish Blood Transfusion Service is the State body with responsibility for the collection, processing, testing and distribution of blood and blood products.
To become a blood donor you must be in good health, between 18 and 65 years of age and weigh at least 50kgs (7st 12lbs). You can donate every 90 days.
The IBTS is committed to supplying Irish hospitals with blood that is as safe as it can be. This means that they test every donation received for a number of diseases including Hepatitis B, HIV and Hepatitis C.
Platelets are small blood cells that are present in the blood of all healthy people and are essential to enable blood to clot properly. Patients who do not have enough platelets in their blood are prone to spontaneous bleeding and are also likely to bleed too much during surgery.
Platelets have a shelf-life of just 5-7 days after donation, so it is important to maintain a constant supply.
Over 20,000 platelet transfusions are needed every year in Ireland, and this number is continuing to rise. Most of these platelets go to patients with serious medical conditions such as cancer or leukaemia, especially those receiving chemotherapy or after a bone marrow transplant.
Platelets may also be needed by:
The Irish Unrelated Bone Marrow Registry (IUBMR) is a register of people who are willing to donate their bone marrow if they are found to match a patient needing a bone marrow transplant. The IUBMR is part of a worldwide network of unrelated donor registries. The decision to become an unrelated bone marrow donor requires careful consideration.
Read more about the Irish Unrelated Bone Marrow Registry.
Before coming to a clinic to give blood, please check if you are eligible to donate.
Never give blood if:
You should not donate blood for 12 months if:
You should not donate blood for 6 months if:
You should not donate blood for 4 months if:
You should not donate blood for 3 months if:
You should not donate blood for 1 month if you have had contact with infectious diseases (where you have not been previously infected), e.g., chicken pox, mumps, measles or German measles.
You should not donate blood for 2 weeks if you have recently recovered from the flu or have just completed a course of antibiotics.
You should not donate blood until fully recovered if you have a cold sore or a cold.
You can donate blood if you are on Hormone Replacement Therapy or are taking the oral contraceptive pill. If you are on long-term medication, you should contact the IBTS before donating.
You may be suitable to become a platelet donor if you:
If you have never donated platelets before, you will be asked to donate one unit of blood before donating platelets. This is to make sure that your own platelet count is high enough for you to donate. A unit of blood is slightly less than one pint.
Find out if you can give blood by taking an eligibility quiz. There are 10 questions and it takes about a minute to complete.
If you have any queries about donating blood, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call IBTS Information Line at 1850 731 137.
You can get more information on www.giveblood.ie.
If you would like to schedule an appointment for an assessment to become a platelet donor please fill in the online Platelet Application Form or contact 01 432 2833 (Dublin) or 021 480 7429 (Cork).
Register for the Bone Marrow Panel by using the online application form.
There are 10 donation clinics, 3 fixed in Dublin & Cork and 7 mobile clinics serving the rest of the country. Find your nearest clinic.
National Blood Centre
Tel:(01) 432 2800
Locall:Information Line 1850 731 137
Fax:(01) 432 2930
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.