Despite your best intentions, there are unfortunately certain circumstances that will prevent you from donating blood from time to time. Read through this list before heading off to the donor clinic, and make sure that you’re fit to donate.

You won’t be able to donate if you

  • Don’t meet our basic donor criteria.
  • Have been in contact with a person diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19 in the last 7 days. For more info about Coronavirus/COVID-19, please view this page.
  • Visited a Malaria area during the past 28 days. If you are unsure, please view the Malaria Information Sheet here.
  • Haven’t eaten something three to four hours before giving blood.
  • Have any infection (even a cold!) – you need to be symptom-free for at least seven days.
  • Are being treated with antibiotics – you must wait at least seven days after finishing treatment depending on diagnosis, as some infections require longer deferral.
  • Have had major surgery within the past three months.
  • Are expecting to have surgery within six weeks.
  • Are pregnant, or gave birth in the past three months.
  • Breastfed your baby within the past month.
  • Returned from a malaria area within the past month.
  • Have had sex with a new partner within the past three months.
  • Have had more than one sexual partner in the past three months.
  • Have had sexual contact in the past three months with someone whose sexual background is unknown to you.
  • Suspect that there’s a chance you may have contracted a sexually-transmitted disease such as HIV or syphilis.
  • Are aware of the fact that you have contracted a sexually-transmitted disease such as HIV or syphilis.
  • Are taking certain medication or have had any serious illness. Please discuss this with the sister on duty or call us and ask to speak to the Medical Officer or Head Sister.

Honesty is Vital

The Western Cape Blood Service has an obligation towards recipients to deliver safe, uncontaminated blood. It’s therefore vital that you be completely honest with us before donating blood. We have no intention of discriminating or offending you. We simply want what’s best for both our recipients and our donors.

If you have any doubts or queries, please discuss them with a member of our staff at your nearest facility, or contact the Medical Officer at our Pinelands head office.