1.1 Donors must be between the ages of 17 and 70. Those under the age of 18 must have parental consent.
1.2 First-time donor must not be older than 60 years old.
1.3 Donors between 60 and 65 years old must have been regular contributors and can donate every 3 months at the National Blood Centre, mobile blood collection units, and Regional Blood Centres.
1.4 Donors between 65 and 70 years old must have been regular contributors and can donate every 6 months. Contributions from this age group will not be accepted at mobile blood collection units.
Eligible donors are those who are physically and mentally ready to contribute, meaning they are able to carry out everyday routines without any health-related problems such as fatigue, sleep deprivation, a hangover, or being under the influence of narcotic substances.
Yes, sleep is pivotal to everyone’s health. However, it is not necessary for everyone to get an 8-hour sleep. So long as you wake up fresh after 5-6 hours of slumber and you can do your daily routines regularly, you are certainly an eligible donor.
Fatty foods like Hainanese chicken rice and stewed pork leg rice increase the amount of lipids in your blood. Blood high in lipids cannot be tested for infections that could cause harm to the recipient, thus cannot be used for transfusion. All potential donors must stay clear of high-fat foods. However, this does not mean you have to skip a meal.
6.1 Diabetes – If you take medications regularly without any complications, you can give blood. But if you have type 1 diabetes and insulin therapy is necessary, you are not eligible to give blood.
6.2 High-Blood Pressure – If you do not have any complications, and your systolic blood pressure is lower than 160 mmHg and your diastolic blood pressure is lower than 100 mmHg, you are an eligible donor.
6.3 Hyperlipidaemia – You are an eligible donor if you have high cholesterol but without complications such as cerebrovascular disease or coronary heart disease.
6.4 Hyperthyroidism – Patients with overactive thyroid caused by cancer are not eligible to give blood. Patients whose hormone thyroxine levels are back to normal and have not taken any medications for a period of 2 years can donate blood.
6.5 Hypothyroidism – Anyone with underactive thyroid on maintenance therapy must be stabilised for at least 8 weeks before donation, meaning the medications and/or treatments must stay the same during the 8-week period.
6.6 Epilepsy – If you have been off epilepsy related drugs for at least 3 years and can present a letter from your doctor as proof, you can give blood.
6.7 Cancer – All cancer patients are not eligible despite having fully recovered.
6.8 Tuberculosis – If you completed all your tuberculosis treatment courses and have been off medications for at least 2 years, you can make a blood donation.
6.9 Asthma – People with asthma can give blood so long as their medications do not involve the use of steroid. If you experience symptoms on the day of your donation, please reschedule your appointment or come in on the day you are most healthy.
7.1 Antibiotics – If you’re taking antibiotics, make sure to wait at least 7 days after your last pill before giving blood.
7.2 Aspirin and Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) – If you take NSAIDs, you can give blood as usual, but your blood platelets will not be used. If you wish to donate blood platelets, you have to wait 2 days after your last pill.
7.3 Sex Hormones
- If you are taking estrogen as part of your postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy, you are eligible to donate blood
- If you are taking estrogen as part of your feminizing hormone therapy without a doctor’s supervision or if you are taking a high dosage of estrogen, you must be off of the therapy for at least 4 months before you should consider donating blood
- If you have had a gender-affirming surgery or sex reassignment surgery and are taking estrogen at a low dosage without any complications, you are eligible to donate blood
- If you are taking testosterone or the male sex hormone, you are not eligible to donate blood, due to the possibility of complications for the blood recipients
You are strongly advised to avoid alcoholic drinks 24 hours before and after a blood donation. This is because alcohol affects blood circulation, can lead to dehydration, makes post-donation recovery slower than usual, and increases the chance of complications after a donation.
Those who consume alcohol regularly are strongly advised to refrain from drinking up to 7 days prior to donation. Regular consumption of alcohol can cause liver impairment.
Those with alcoholism are not eligible to donate blood.
You cannot give blood during pregnancy. Blood is important to fetal growth and development. Miscarriage is one of the possible risks if you lose blood during pregnancy.
Similarly, you cannot give blood during lactation. Blood is a good source of breastmilk. You may also be sleep deprived from having to breastfeed your infant at night. It is recommended that you donate blood once you no longer need to breastfeed.
You should wait at least six months after giving birth or encountering a miscarriage, before you should consider donating blood. The six-month window allows your body to replenish the red blood cells you lost during delivery or miscarriage.
- Partner means an active sexual partner regardless of sex or gender
- Multiple partners mean more than one active sexual partner regardless of sex or gender
- Risky sexual behavior means having multiple sexual partners, having sex with a sex worker, having sex with someone at risk of having a disease or having a sexually transmitted disease that can be transmitted through blood, and/or having sex with someone who is addicted to drugs or using drug injections without a doctor’s supervision.
*The rule applies even if condoms or other forms of protection are used during sex. Sexual behavior is the main factor taken into consideration when deciding if a person should temporarily or permanently refrain from donating blood.
- Sexuality and/or sexual appearance will not be taken into account when determining donor eligibility. For instance, if you are a biological male with female characteristics, and you do not have risky sexual behavior, you are an eligible donor.
- Regardless of sex, gender, and sexuality, you are eligible to donate blood if you do not have risky sexual behavior.
- If you have recently changed a sexual partner, you must wait out four months before considering a blood donation, counting from the first day you became sexually active with the new partner.
- If you have multiple partners, you must wait out four months before considering a blood donation, counting from the last day you were sexually active with your partner(s). However, if you have multiple partners in compliance with a religious belief, you are eligible to give blood.
- If you have risky sexual behavior or if your partner has risky sexual behavior, you must wait out four months before considering a blood donation, counting from the last day you were sexually active with your partner.
*If you are a man who has sex with another man (MSM), you are not eligible to give blood, until there is Thailand-based research that suggests it is safe for MSM to donate blood. Such research is currently being conducted.
With that said, nucleic acid testing (NAT) will always be performed to determine eligibility.
HIV drugs – PrEP and PEP – have the ability to lower the amount of HIV nucleic acids to the level where the virus cannot be detected by the highly sensitive, gene-based method called Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT). These drugs render laboratory testing ineffective and inaccurate, increasing the chances of HIV being passed on to blood recipients
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is a course of HIV drugs taken by HIV-negative people to prevent infection. People at risk take this medicine to prevent getting HIV from sex, injection drug use, or other risky behaviors.
Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) is a short course of HIV medicines taken very soon after a possible exposure to HIV to prevent the virus from taking hold in your body.
- If you have taken PEP or PrEP using the method of swallowing (through the mouth), you must wait 1 year after your last pill before giving blood.
- If you have taken PEP or PrEP using the method of injection, you must wait at least 2 years after your last injection before giving blood.
You need to wait 3 days after tooth filling and/or scaling before giving blood. There is a chance of infections during and after dental cleaning. You may be asymptomatic but can still pass on infections to people in need of blood.
If you have your tooth extracted or root canal treated, make sure to wait up to 7 days before giving blood. The same logic applies here. These procedures can sometimes send bacteria into the bloodstream. So, make sure to let all your surgery wounds heal before you try to give blood.
Watery and more-frequent bowel movements are commonly caused by food poisoning. If the diarrhoea is caused by toxins and is non-infectious, you should wait 7 days from the last day of your symptoms before giving blood.
If you have infectious diarrhoea, it is recommended that you wait 7 days after the last time you took an antibiotic pill.
If you get any of your body parts pierced using appropriate aseptic techniques at a certified hospital, you can give blood right away. However, if the piercing is done by non-hospital establishments, you have to wait 4 months, provided that you test negative for HIV and Hepatitis B and C using the Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT). Without NAT, the waiting period is up to 1 year. HIV as well as Hepatitis B and C can be transmitted via blood.
You need to wait at least 7 days after a minor surgery before you should consider giving blood. A minor surgical procedure is any invasive operative procedure in which only skin or mucus membranes and connective tissue is resected. It usually involves the use of a local anaesthetic and very minimal blood loss. An example of a minor operation is abscess drainage.
A major surgery is any invasive operative procedure in which a more extensive resection is performed. A major surgical operation may involve the use of anesthesia and respiratory support. You need at least 6 months to recover before you can contribute. Spinal fusion and laparoscopy are considered major surgeries. However, you will need at least 1 year of recovery if blood transfusion is part of your operation.
If you have undergone dilatation and curettage (D&C), a surgical procedure in which the cervix is dilated so that the uterine lining can be scraped with a curette to remove abnormal tissues, you will have to wait 1 month, provided the D&C procedure was performed without anaesthesia and was not in response to a miscarriage. If anaesthesia was used during the procedure, you need to wait up to 6 months before you can donate blood.
If you have received blood or blood components, you need to wait up to 1 year before contributing to blood donation. Being on the receiving end of blood transfusion presents a very slim chance of getting infected.
If you have had an organ transplant or a stem cell transplant, you are not eligible as a donor. After a successful organ transplant, you will need to take immunosuppressant or anti-rejection drugs. These drugs help prevent your immune system from attacking or rejecting the donor organ. On the contrary, these drugs, if given to an expectant mother, can cause birth defects or even kill the fetus.
As for stem cell transplant, aka bone marrow transplant, most of the patients who need such operation are suffering hematologic diseases, although they don’t have to take immunosuppressants. If you have had a hematologic disease and needed a bone marrow transplant, you should not give blood. However, there is one exception. If the operation is a cornea transplant, you are a potential donor after a 1-month rest.
If you have been jabbed by a blood-stained needle, you must refrain from giving blood for a period of 1 year. This is to make sure the “window period” passes and that you did not contract any blood diseases from the needlestick injury.
If you had Hepatitis A before the age of 11 and you no longer have it now, you can donate blood.
Two most common Hepatitis viruses infecting adults and children after the age of 11 are Hepatitis B and C. If you catch Hepatitis after the age of 11, you cannot give blood. If the liver inflammation wasn’t caused by a Hepatitis virus and you have a medical certificate to prove, you are eligible to donate.
If a member of your family or anyone close to you is diagnosed with Hepatitis B or C, you must wait for at least 1 year after that person has fully recovered before you should consider blood donation. This is to make sure the virus was not passed on to you and those receiving your blood.
If you ever tested positive for Hepatitis or are in the carrier state, you are not eligible to give blood, even if you were never sick or jaundiced from the infection.
If you have been diagnosed with Malaria, the waiting period before you can donate blood is 3 years after a full recovery.
If you have travelled to or lived in a Malaria-risk community, you need to refrain from donating blood for 1 year.
Thailand is not a Malaria-free state. There are places in the country where Malaria cases are reported, especially in forest areas, in addition to the prevalence of the existing Malaria carriers (mosquitoes). Blood donations are not tested for Malaria, hence the importance of the eligibility screening procedure.
- For Influenza and Dengue, the waiting period before donation is 1 month after full recovery
- For Chikungunya, the waiting period is 6 month after full recovery (no more joint pain)
- For Zika fever, the waiting period is 6 months
- If you contract coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) but are asymptomatic, you should wait out 7 days before donating blood, counting from the day you first discovered the virus
- If you contract coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) and experience symptoms, you should wait out 14 days before donating blood, counting from the last day of your symptoms
Note: Guidelines may change depending on the COVID-19 situation
- Tetanus and Rabies Vaccines – Wait 24 hours before donating blood, provided you don’t experience any vaccine side effects
- Hepatitis B Vaccine – Wait 21 days after the jab
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Chickenpox, and Shingles Vaccines – Wait 4 weeks before donating blood, provided you don’t experience any vaccine side effects
- Cervical Cancer, Influenza, Pneumonia, and Hepatitis A Vaccines – Wait 24 hours before donating blood, provided you don’t experience any vaccine side effects
- COVID-19 Vaccine – If you received a Covid vaccine that was approved by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration, you will need to wait 7 days before giving blood, provided you don’t develop any side effects. If you’ve experience vaccine side effects, you should wait between 7 and 14 days, depending on the severity of the side effects.
- Potential donors must abstain from drugs and all controlled substances before giving blood
- If you have a history of intravenously injecting narcotic substances into your body, you are not eligible to donate blood. Narcotic substances have psychoactive effects, meaning they can change a person’s mental state by affecting the way the brain and nervous systems work, thus making eligibility screening inaccurate and unreliable, on top of the possibility that addicts can put themselves and others in harm’s way.
- If you have taken narcotic drugs by swallowing (through the mouth), you have to stay drug-free for at least 1 year before being eligible to give blood, provided that you are physically and mentally healthy. There will be inquiries to make sure that you are completely off narcotic substances. If you are uncertain about your state of mind, please refrain from donating blood indefinitely.
- If you have taken marijuana, cannabis, hemp, or Kratom, regardless of the methods of consumption, whether the drug was a small part of your diet or beverage, you must comply with the following guidelines:
– If you consume the said substances regularly or at least once a week, you must wait 7 days after the last consumption before giving blood.
– If you consume the said substances occasionally, your wait period before giving blood is 24 hours.
On the day of your donation, you must not experience any dizziness or psychiatric symptoms to be eligible to give blood. These symptoms can be harmful to you during and after a blood draw.
Adverse health effects of marijuana and cannabis include drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, and loss of balance, all of which can make you faint. The severity of the side effects also depends on the amount and the method you consume. Usually, the side effects of ingestion last longer than those of through smoking.
If you were inside a prison or correctional facility for longer than 72 hours, there is a chance you might have contracted HIV, HBV, and HCV. You need to wait out for at least a year after your release before you can donate blood.
You must refrain from giving blood until you have discovered the causes of these medically unexplained symptoms. These symptoms are indicative of the prodromal (early) stage of HIV and other severe diseases. If HIV is the cause of these prodromal symptoms, you are not eligible to donate.
If you have lived in Great Britain, France, or Ireland, you are eligible for a whole blood donation. However, if you or any of your family members have had Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), you are not eligible to donate.