Recent Changes To Donation Criteria At Canadian Blood Services

By January 4, 2017Life

The criteria for blood donation are always being reviewed and changes are often made. You may now BE eligible to donate!

Here are some changes that have recently come into effect. Remember, if you have any questions or are not sure about your eligibility, please contact one of our trained health professionals at 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283).

What’s New:

  • Age: There is no longer an upper age limit. If you have donated before and are over 71 and would like to book, give us a call! If you have never donated before, you can start donating at any time after your 17th birthday. It’s always the time to start Giving Life.
  • Cancer: For most types of cancer, you can donate 5 years after your treatment is complete and you are cancer-free. These include breast, prostate, colon, thyroid and uterine cancer. And for skin cancer such as squamous cell or basal cell, you can donate after treatment. We’d love to see you. Book an appointment today.
  • Flu Shot: Getting the flu shot no longer means you can’t come in on the day of your shot. Book anytime. Book an appointment today.
  • Zika: Travelers to locations outside of Canada, the continental U.S. and Europe have a waiting period of 21 days after their return home before donating blood. Check out the Travel page for more information.
  • Travel: There is other travel that can mean you can’t donate but don’t assume, you might be ok to donate! Learn more here: Travel
  • Medications: While taking some medications means you can’t donate, most are ok. Most common medications, such as ones used to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or depression are all ok. So, if you are currently taking medication and want to know if you can give blood, check the top 40 acceptable and unacceptable medications first.
  • Men who have sex with men: Health Canada has approved our request to reduce the blood donation waiting period for men who have sex with men from five years to one year. The change took effect across the country on Aug. 15, 2016. Héma-Québec will also make the change at the same time. Learn more here: Men who have sex with men
  • Trans individuals: New criteria for trans donors took effect on Aug. 15, 2016. Learn more here: Trans individuals

What’s Coming:

  • Donation Interval: Females – Starting now, female donors will be encouraged to book their next appointment 84 instead of 56 days out to protect their iron levels. Beginning December 10, all appointments must be booked 84 days out to be ready for a March 5, 2017 eligibility change. Read more.
  • Hemoglobin Test: Males – Starting March 5, 2017, male donors will be required to measure 130 g/L on the hemoglobin test (an increase from today’s 125 g/L).Read more


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