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Blood Donation and Travel

Travel outside the UK can affect whether or not you are able to donate blood. This is because diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, chikungunya, zika and West Nile virus can all be transmitted via blood products. This can have severe consequences, for example, malaria transmitted by blood transfusion is often fatal.

Elegibility to Donate Blood

If you would like to donate blood but are unsure if you are able to, you should call a blood donation advisor for assessment before travelling to give blood:

  • Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service - 0345 90 90 999
  • NHS Blood Donation England - 0300 123 23 23
  • Welsh Blood Service - 0800 252 266
  • Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service - 08085 534 666

You will be asked: if you were born abroad; if you have lived or worked abroad for more than six months; and if you have had any illnesses during or after travel abroad.

 

Vaccinations

If you have received vaccinations within 2 months of your planned donation you should discuss this with a blood donation advisor before attending to give blood (see contact details above). This is because the time frame in which you received certain vaccinations may affect your ability to donate.

Donor Selection Guidance

NHS Blood and Transplant (England), the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, the Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service and the Welsh Blood Service follow the the Whole Blood and Components Donor Selection Guidelines The most recent version of these guidelines can be found here:

Guidelines for the Blood Transfusion Services in the United Kingdom

 

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