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23 November 2017

Important news: Changes to donor deferral criteria

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Changes to donor selection guidelines, first announced in July 2017, will take effect from 27th November 2017.

  • If you’ve had a piercing, tattoo, endoscopy or any cosmetic treatment involving needles, you can now give blood four months later, rather than a year.
  • You can now also give blood four months after complementary therapies involving needles including acupuncture. If your treatment was performed in the NHS or by a registered practitioner you can give blood immediately. Please contact us for further advice if you need more information.

We have also introduced a shorter deferral period of three months for:

  • men who have had sex with another man
  • people who have had sex with partners at higher risk of blood borne infections

The new rules follow a review by the Standing Advisory Committee for the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs. They take into account the latest available medical and scientific evidence about the risk of acquiring infections that can be passed on in blood, along with evidence supporting the reliability of the blood screening tests we use.

SNBTS has also reduced the length of time a donor needs to wait after having a baby. This has changed from nine months after delivery to just six months. This change is in line with practice in other UK blood services.

The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) estimate that the new rules will allow up to 2000 more people in Scotland to give blood each year.

  • If any of these changes affect you, or if you’d like to ask us any questions, please contact us on 0345 90 90 999 or by email form.

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