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Can I give blood?

Sometimes it is not possible to give blood, or we may ask you to wait before donating again. To save you a wasted journey, please read this list of the most common reasons people cannot give blood.

If you have a medical condition, or a question about whether you can give blood, you should check the health & eligibility and travel section before you book an appointment. And if you need to cancel your appointment please give us 3 days' notice so that we can offer the space to another donor. You can easily cancel or reschedule by signing in to your online account or using the NHSGiveBlood app.

Can I donate if I have a cold?

No, if you are sneezing and coughing or very congested you should not attend. It is important that you do not have any infection at the time of donating. If you are unsure it is best not to give blood.

Can I donate if I feel ill, have a chesty cough or a cold sore?

If you are feeling under the weather with any of these things it’s best that you wait until you feel better before you give blood. Use our health & eligibility section to find out more.

Can I donate blood if I am taking antibiotics or have an infection?

You must be completely healed or recovered from any infection for at least 14 days before you give blood. If you are taking antibiotics you may need to wait a period of time after your last tablet. Please follow our advice about donating after an infection. Please also see our advice about donating after antibiotics

Can I donate if I am pregnant, or have recently been pregnant?

During your pregnancy, you are not able to give blood. If you had a blood transfusion during your pregnancy or at delivery then you will not be able to become a blood donor. Please follow our advice about giving blood during and after pregnancy.

Can I give blood if I am receiving medical treatment or taking medication?

We’ll need to check that you can donate. Whether or not you can donate will depend on the medication you are receiving as well as the condition for which you are being treated. Please search for your condition or medication in our health & eligibility section.

Can I give blood if I have been to the dentist or received dental treatment?

Simple fillings and check ups are usually ok after 24 hours. However, some treatments will mean a longer deferral. Please follow our advice about giving blood after dental treatment.

Can I give blood if I have been travelling outside the UK?

Travel to some parts of the world can affect your ability to donate blood. Search for your destination in our travel section to see if you can donate now or have to wait for a period of time.

Can I give blood if I have a heart condition?

We will need to have more information to know if you can give blood. It will depend on your specific heart condition. Please see our advice for giving blood with a heart condition

Can I donate if I have got a tattoo or a body piercing?

If you had this done recently you may have to wait before you can donate again. Please follow our advice about giving blood after a tattoo or getting your body pierced

Can I give blood if I have had cancer?

Our advice depends on the type of cancer. Please search for the relevant cancer in our health & eligibility section.

Can I give blood if I have had a transfusion, or received blood products or an organ transplant?

We may need more information about your transfusion. Please follow our advice about giving blood after a transfusion. If you have received tissue or an organ, it may be possible to donate blood. Please see our advice about giving blood after a transplant.

Can I donate blood if I have high or low blood pressure?

It is possible to donate blood if you have high blood pressure or low blood pressure. However, there are some restrictions. Please follow our advice about giving blood when you have high or low blood pressure

Can I give blood if I have had acupuncture?

It may be possible to give blood after acupuncture. We will need to know the reason you had the treatment and the certification of the acupuncturist. Please follow the full advice about donating after acupuncture.

Can I give blood if I am gay?

We do not prevent people from becoming blood donors based on their sexuality. There are some restrictions for blood donors who take part in activities deemed risk behaviours by the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs who advise UK ministers and health departments.

In November 2017 there were changes to the blood donor selection criteria for men who have sex with men. You can read our news statement about the blood donor selection changes.

Appointment availability

You might not be able to get an appointment straightway if sessions are fully booked or we already have a good supply of your blood type.

Your donation is still important so please book an appointment for further in the future.

Find out more about how the appointment system works.

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More information about the different blood types that provide a lifeline to all kinds of patients