WELCOME MESSAGE FROM ANDY KELLY On behalf of the Irish Blood

WELCOME MESSAGE
FROM ANDY KELLY
CHIEF EXECUTIVE
On behalf of the Irish Blood
Transfusion Service I would like to
welcome you to our clinic. You have taken the first
step in a very important journey. Your donation
could mean that a child goes home healthy to
their family, it could be the difference between life
and death. Thousands of donations are needed
every single week in Ireland and it’s people like
you who make it all possible.
We hope you have a pleasant experience here
today. Be sure to read through all the important
information in this folder, and if you have any
questions at all, don’t hesitate to ask one of
our clinic staff.
Chief Executive
TABLE OF CONTENTS
BLOOD DONATION INFORMATION
BLOOD SAFETY INFORMATION
DEFERRAL INFORMATION
DONORS WHO WERE BORN OUTSIDE OF IRELAND/UK
HAEMOGLOBIN AND IRON
DISEASE INFORMATION
■
vCJD AND BLOOD DONATION - FAQs
■
WEST NILE VIRUS AND GIVING BLOOD
■
SIMIAN FOAMY VIRUS - FAQs
MEASURING YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE
ABOUT US
WHAT WE BELIEVE IN
OUR PROMISE TO YOU
COMMUNICATIONS
RECIPIENT AND DONOR STORIES
WHAT YOU CAN DO
GAA PARTNERSHIP
BLOOD GROUP INFORMATION
MESSAGE FROM DR. IAN FRANKLIN (MEDICAL DIRECTOR, IBTS)
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BLOOD DONATION INFORMATION
Please read this information carefully today. You will be asked
to sign that you have read and understood the contents.
THE DONATION PROCESS
Registration
When you volunteer to give blood you will
be asked to register with the Irish Blood
Transfusion Service (IBTS). We ask you
for your name, address, date of birth,
telephone numbers and e-mail address.
This information is entered on the IBTS
computerised donor database and is used
by us to communicate with you (e.g. to
send invitation letters / texts / e-mails to
future blood donor clinics).
Information related to you and your
blood donations is stored securely on the
database. If you have given blood before
and you are on our database, you will
be asked to confirm that your details are
correct.
lifestyle questionnaire and that all the
information you provided is true and
accurate to the best of your knowledge,
• that you read / listened to and
understood the Blood Safety
Information and this information (the
Blood Donation Information) and that to
the best of your knowledge you are not
at risk of any of the infections listed nor
of transmitting these infections,
• that you understood the nature of the
donation process and the risks involved
in giving blood – see section entitled
Possible Complications of Giving Blood,
• that you had an opportunity to ask
questions and had satisfactory answers
to any questions that you asked
and to give consent:
Medical Screening
• to proceed with the donation process,
Each time you attend to give blood you
will be asked about specific aspects of
your medical history and asked to fill
in a health and lifestyle questionnaire.
We ask that you read the questionnaire
and information provided thoroughly.
Your complete honesty and accuracy in
answering all the questions is essential
for your own safety and for that of the
patients who will receive your blood.
All the information you give us will
be treated in the strictest confidence.
New donors, or donors who have not
given blood in the past two years, will be
interviewed by a doctor or nurse in an
area that provides as much privacy as the
setting allows.
• for your blood to be tested for HIV,
hepatitis and other infectious agents
and for a small sample of your blood to
be stored – see section entitled Testing
Blood Donations,
• for your blood to be used for the benefit
of patients, this may be by direct
transfusion to a patient, or indirectly as
described – see sections entitled Using
Blood for Research and Development
and Use of Plasma
You will be asked to declare:
• that you read / listened to, understood
and completed the health and
PAGE 1 OF 8 BT 353-4 July 2013
• that if you develop any illness after
donating, you will immediately phone
one of the doctors at the National
Blood Centre, Dublin on 01 4322800
or the Munster Regional Transfusion
Centre, Cork on 021 4807400 as this
illness may have consequences for the
patients who will receive your blood.
It is not unusual that either temporarily or
indefinitely for medical or other reasons it
may not be possible to accept a donation
from you. In these circumstances we
will explain the reason(s) for our decision
to you. We may ask your permission to
contact your General Practitioner (GP) for
further details which will help us decide
if you can give blood. You can read more
about this in the Deferral Information
section.
What if I Change My Mind?
If you are accepted for donation but
decide, for whatever reason, that you
would rather not do so, you can change
your mind and leave the clinic at any
time. We will not put any pressure on you
to donate. We simply ask that you return
your questionnaire to a member of our
staff.
If you have already donated and you
have doubts about whether your blood
should be used for patients please talk to
a doctor or nurse at the clinic. If you have
left the clinic please phone Dublin on 01
4322800, or Cork on 021 4807400 as
soon as possible and ask to speak with a
doctor. There is a doctor on call 24 hours
a day. Please do not leave a message on
our Infoline as this is not manned 24/7
and the information you give us may
mean that your blood is not suitable for
patients and has to be recalled from the
hospital immediately.
Haemoglobin Testing
Haemoglobin (Hb) is a protein that
contains iron and is found in red blood
PAGE 2 OF 8 cells. It carries oxygen around the body
and gives blood its red colour. Hb levels
vary from person to person and men
usually have higher levels than women.
Hb levels are often slightly lower in the
summer months.
We test a small drop of blood from your
finger to make sure that your Hb is at the
level we require before you give blood
and that you are not anaemic (i.e. that
your Hb is not low). Red cells (containing
Hb and iron) are removed when you give
blood, causing a temporary drop in your
Hb level. The minimum Hb levels needed
before giving blood take this drop into
consideration.
Giving blood too often can lead to
low levels of iron in your body (iron
deficiency). This can occur because
every unit of blood contains between 200
and 250 mgs of iron. Iron deficiency
does not always cause symptoms. In
some people it may be associated with
tiredness, impaired concentration or poor
work performance. Continued loss of iron
can cause anaemia.
If you do not pass the Hb test today we
will advise you how long you should wait
before trying to give blood again. We will
also advise you if you should visit your GP.
If you were not able to give blood in the
past because your Hb level was not high
enough, we may advise that you attempt
to donate no more than once or twice a
year.
Giving Blood
After the medical screening process,
you will be shown to one of the donation
beds. A pressure cuff will be put around
your upper arm to make the veins more
prominent and the area will be cleaned
with antiseptic. A doctor, nurse or
specially trained donor attendant will
insert a needle that is attached to a blood
bag. A new sterile blood bag is used for
every donor. It is never reused. Your
blood will flow through this needle into the
blood bag that is kept out of sight below
BT 353-4 July 2013
Please read this information carefully
and to agree:
Please read this information carefully
the level of the bed. You will be asked
to open and close your hand to ensure
smooth and consistent blood flow. Blood
samples are collected in tubes at the time
of donation so that we can test them in
our laboratory.
A member of staff will keep a close eye on
you and on the blood bag to make sure
that everything is going well. Most people
fill the blood bag in 8 to 15 minutes. It
holds 470 mls of blood (under a pint). If,
for any reason, the blood flow is slow, it
may be necessary to stop the donation
early. If you experience any pain or
discomfort or feel unwell during the
donation, you must tell our clinic staff
immediately. In the interests of your
health the donation will be stopped.
When the donation is completed, the
needle will be carefully removed from
your arm and a dressing applied. We ask
you to press firmly and directly on the
needle site for at least 3 minutes after
the needle is removed, keeping your arm
straight. Please don’t pick up your bags
or put on your coat during this time.
This is important in helping to prevent
bruising.
Resting
You will be advised to rest for a short
period before going to the canteen area
where you will be offered a drink and light
refreshments. We advise that you remain
in the blood donor clinic for at least 15
minutes after your donation to make sure
that you are feeling well.
Possible Complications of Giving
Blood
For the majority of people the process of
giving blood is a very simple and troublefree experience. However, problems
sometimes arise during or after a
donation. We outline some complications
of giving blood here, so that if they occur,
you will know what to do.
PAGE 3 OF 8 Let one of our staff know immediately
if you feel faint or unwell during or
after your donation or if you have pain,
discomfort or altered sensation in your
arm, hand or fingers, when the needle
is inserted, during the donation or after
the needle is removed. We will stop the
donation immediately and will care for you
until you feel better. We ask that you do
not leave the clinic until we advise that it
is safe for you to do so.
Bruising
Bruising may develop due to seepage
of blood from the vein into the tissues
of the arm. It can look very dramatic
but is usually harmless. Bruising may
appear some way from the donation
site (on the back of the arm or near the
wrist), may not start until a day or two
after the donation and may go through
the colours of the rainbow. Most bruises
are not painful and fade within 7 to 10
days. Sometimes bruising may take a
few weeks to disappear completely. If a
bruise develops during the donation the
procedure will be stopped. On occasion
the bruising may worsen and become
painful. Very occasionally a bruise may
become infected and you may need
treatment with antibiotics.
To minimise the risk of bruising, we
ask you to tell us if you have pain or
discomfort when the needle is inserted,
during the donation or after it is
removed. You must also press firmly on
the needle site for at least 3 minutes
after the needle is removed keeping your
arm straight. We ask all donors to limit
the use of their donation arm for the first
15 minutes after giving blood and ideally
to avoid using the arm for heavy work or
exercise for the rest of the day.
If you do develop a bruise during or after
donating we recommend that you avoid
heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for
at least a few days until the bruise is
improving. For example, do not go to
the gym or lift heavy shopping bags, as
BT 353-4 July 2013
If you experience any of the following after
donating you should contact us in Dublin
on 01 4322800 or Cork 021 4807400 or
contact your GP:
• severe pain in your arm, hand or
fingers,
• numbness or persistent ‘pins and
needles’ or altered sensation in your
arm, hand or fingers,
• swelling that is large or increasing in
size,
• change in colour (pale or blue colour)
of the hand or fingers,
• swelling of the hand or fingers,
• painful redness or inflammation.
Bleeding from the needle site
If this happens immediately after giving
blood:
Fainting / feeling weak or lightheaded
Some donors feel faint during or after
giving blood. This may be due to anxiety,
fatigue, dehydration or loss of blood
volume. It is important that you relax and
drink plenty of cold, non-alcoholic liquids
before and after you donate. If you feel
faint, weak or light-headed during or
after your donation please let one of our
staff know immediately.
Reducing the risk of fainting
Before giving blood we advise that you:
• get a good night’s sleep,
• drink plenty of cold, non-alcoholic
liquids in the 24 hours before donating
- especially in warm weather,
• drink half a litre of water at the clinic in
the 30 minutes just before donating –
this will help to prevent fainting,
• eat savoury food and/or salty snacks the
night before donation and at the clinic,
• eat something substantial in the 3
hours before you donate,
• lift your arm above your shoulder and
press on the needle site,
• tell us if you have low blood pressure
or feel faint or dizzy when you stand up
suddenly,
• sit down and ask for assistance from
our staff.
• let us know if you are very anxious so
that we can help you feel at ease.
You can avoid bleeding by pressing
firmly on the needle site after the needle
is taken out and by limiting the use of
your donation arm for 15 minutes after
giving blood. Be careful when eating and
drinking and when putting on your coat
after donating.
Please leave the plaster in place until the
next day. This is to prevent the donation
site from becoming infected.
PAGE 4 OF 8 During giving blood we advise that you:
• wear loose, comfortable clothing,
• tense your leg and buttock muscles
tightly for 5 seconds, then gradually
release the hold over the next 10
seconds,
• or cross and uncross your legs,
• repeat these exercises whilst you are
on the donation bed - during and
immediately after your donation – as
they will help reduce the risk of fainting, BT 353-4 July 2013
Please read this information carefully
doing so could aggravate the bruising.
However, normal gentle movements are
very beneficial and should be continued.
Cold compresses can be useful within the
first 24 hours. Do not apply heat within
the first 24 hours as this could make the
bruising much worse.
Please read this information carefully
• do not stand up too quickly – a
member of staff will escort you to the
refreshment area
After giving blood we advise that you:
• stay in our clinic for at least 15 minutes
after donating,
• have some light refreshments in our
canteen during this time,
• do not smoke for at least an hour,
• stay sitting or lying for approximately 30
minutes or until you feel well again,
• whilst sitting or lying down tense your
leg and buttock muscles tightly for 5
seconds, then gradually release the
hold over the next 10 seconds,
• or cross and uncross your legs,
• repeat these exercises until you feel
better – as they will help you recover
from your faint,
• drink plenty of non-alcoholic liquids,
• make sure that when you get up you do
so slowly,
• avoid alcoholic drinks for at least 6
hours,
• if you still feel faint, lie down again,
• do not have a hot bath or shower on the
day you donate,
• do not use a sauna or steam room on
the day you donate,
• avoid standing for long periods
especially in poorly ventilated areas –
such as standing in a long queue or on
crowded public transport,
• avoid strenuous exercise until the
next day – such as jogging, running,
swimming or going to the gym,
• avoid any activity that may present a
hazard to you or others if you were to
become weak or light-headed.
If you are involved in a hazardous
occupation or hobby such as operating
heavy machinery or mountaineering,
you should defer the activity until the
next day or sometimes longer. Please
check with us, so that we can advise you
appropriately if this applies to you.
If you feel faint after leaving the clinic:
• you should sit or lie down straight away
(on the ground if necessary) to avoid
falling and injuring yourself,
• put your head between your knees for a
few minutes,
• lie down if you need to, raise your feet
and rest them on a chair if you can,
PAGE 5 OF 8 • have a cold non-alcoholic drink when
you feel well enough to do so,
• do not drive for at least 6 hours after
you have recovered because there is a
risk that you may faint again whilst you
are driving,
• if you feel faint whilst driving, slow
down and stop the car as soon as it is
safe to do so. Remain in the car and
lay your seat as flat as possible. It is
recommended that you do not get out
of the car as fainting beside a road can
be hazardous. Do not attempt to drive
again. Call 999 for an ambulance.
If you lose consciousness (pass out) after
donating please contact us on the above
numbers for further advice as soon as
possible. We generally advise that donors
who lose consciousness after they leave
the blood donor clinic, do not donate
again, in the interests of their own safety.
Uncommon risks of donating
blood
Nerve Injury / Nerve irritation / Pain
Please tell us immediately if you have
pain, discomfort or altered sensation
in your arm, hand or fingers, when the
needle is inserted, during the donation
or after the needle is removed.
Very infrequently, insertion or removal of
the needle may cause irritation or injury
of a nerve in your arm. Pain, discomfort
BT 353-4 July 2013
The risk of a delayed faint will be greatly
reduced by following the steps outlined
above to reduce the risk of fainting. If
you have a problem after donating and
need to seek urgent attention from a
doctor or hospital, please let us know as
soon as possible as we would like to hear
the outcome. We are also required to
record the incident and other less serious
incidents and report them with your
details to our insurance company.
Tendon Injury / Pain
On rare occasions a needle may come
into contact with a tendon and cause a
sharp pain when the needle is inserted.
Tell us immediately if you experience
any pain or discomfort when the needle
is inserted and we will stop the donation.
If you become unwell after
donating
Arterial Puncture
Rarely, the needle may inadvertently be
inserted into an artery. If this happens the
needle will be removed immediately and
you will be given immediate treatment and
appropriate advice.
Fast / irregular pulse or tightness in the
chest
Very rarely a donor may develop a faster
than normal or irregular pulse or a
sensation of tightness in the chest, during
or after a donation. This is not necessarily
caused by the donation. If this happens
while giving blood, tell us immediately.
Serious Complications resulting in injury
or hospitalisation
We collect around 150,000 donations of
blood every year. About once or twice a
year a donor may need to be admitted
to hospital as a result of a complication
of giving blood. This could occur if for
example a donor faints and bangs his /
her head resulting in an injury.
Serious injuries can occur if a donor faints
after he / she has left the blood donor
clinic. This is called a ‘delayed faint.’
PAGE 6 OF 8 If you become unwell or develop any
illness after donating it is essential that
you talk to a doctor at the National
Blood Centre on 01 4322800 or the
Munster Regional Transfusion Centre
on 021 4807400 as soon as possible.
This is because an illness may have
consequences for the patients who will
receive your blood. There is a doctor on
call 24 hours a day who will advise you
and will decide if your blood is suitable to
give to patients.
Please do not e-mail us or leave a
message on our Infoline as these are
not manned 24/7 and the information
you give us may mean your blood is
not suitable for patients and has to be
recalled from the hospital immediately.
Testing Blood Donations
Certain tests are performed on every
donation, no matter how many times
you have given blood. Currently the
mandatory tests are those for HIV,
hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HTLV (a virus
carried in the blood) and syphilis.
If your blood gives a positive result for
any of these tests your donation will be
discarded and you will not be eligible to
donate again. We will write and inform
you and ask that you attend for further
confirmatory tests and advice.
BT 353-4 July 2013
Please read this information carefully
or altered sensation in your arm, hand
or fingers may indicate that a nerve has
been injured. These symptoms may also
occur if a collection of blood under the
skin (bruise) is pressing on a nerve. Tell
us immediately if you have any of these
symptoms and we will stop the donation
and give you appropriate advice. If these
symptoms occur after you have left the
blood donor clinic, you should contact us
on the above numbers or contact your GP.
Please read this information carefully
The IBTS is legally bound to inform the
Public Health Service if your tests confirm
that you are positive for HIV, hepatitis B,
hepatitis C or syphilis. We are obliged to
forward your personal details including
your name and address and the results of
your blood tests.
have not been used within their shelf
life, for laboratory work, education and
training, or for research and development
within the IBTS, the Health Service or
the Universities / Institutes of Technology.
The IBTS does not receive any payment
for this service.
Your blood is also tested to determine your
blood group. In addition supplementary
tests may be carried out on selected
donations for example to meet the special
needs of certain patients such as babies.
These extra tests include more detailed
blood grouping, a test for sickle cell trait
and, very occasionally, tests for other
relevant proteins in the blood. We will
notify you of any results that may affect
your health. The range of blood tests
carried out by the IBTS is under regular
review and other tests may be introduced
in the future. We freeze a small sample of
your blood and retain it indefinitely. This
is done in case it becomes necessary to
carry out additional tests at a later date.
As part of our commitment to a high
quality service, on occasion donations
that are within their shelf life are used for
validation / quality assurance purposes
within the IBTS. This could happen for
example when a new blood pack or filter
is introduced to ensure that it meets
all the required standards. Another
example would be where donated blood
or blood samples are used to validate
test kits and equipment and in the
assessment of a new blood screening
test. These samples may also be used
to provide information for donors on
the risk of screening positive in a new
test, or to provide estimates of the rate
of other infections in the population. If
part of a donation or samples is used for
these purposes, we will ensure, where
appropriate, that you cannot be identified
so that there is no link between any
personal identifiable data and the sample
(unlinked, anonymised testing) and that
approval from an ethics committee is
obtained where necessary.
False Positive Reactions on our
Screening Tests
We have to carry out a range of screening
tests on each donation. In a small
percentage of donors, the donor’s blood
gives a false positive reaction on our tests.
This means that although the screening
test is reactive, additional testing shows
that the result is not of any significance for
the donor’s health. You will be informed
of such false reactions if they occur.
While there are no health implications for
the donor we are unable to use the blood
for patients.
Using Blood for Research and
Development
We would like donors to know that, on
occasion, their blood may be used for
purposes other than direct transfusion
to patients. We sometimes use parts of
donations that are not given to patients
such as white cells, or donations that
PAGE 7 OF 8 Using blood in all of the above ways is of
benefit to patients. By signing the Donor
Declaration on the health and lifestyle
questionnaire you are giving consent to
proceed with the donation and that your
donation may be used for any of the
purposes outlined above.
We would also like our donors to know
that at times their blood is not used. This
may happen if the donation was not a
complete donation or if the donation is not
used before its expiry date.
Use of Plasma
The IBTS believes that it is important that
donors know how their blood donations
BT 353-4 July 2013
Plasma from Irish donors has not been
given to patients since 2001, because of
a risk of transmitting vCJD. Some of it
can be used in other ways that indirectly
benefit patients, for example in ethically
approved medical research, quality
control or for teaching purposes.
The IBTS has agreed to supply waste
plasma (currently disposed of at a cost)
to the manufacturing sector for use in
preparing healthcare related laboratory
tests. IBTS and all blood services rely on
commercial tests to ensure safe blood,
and IBTS considers that this use of
waste parts of donations is appropriate.
From time to time other surplus material
such as that left over after testing blood
samples may also be supplied. The IBTS
receives payment from this collaboration
which helps to offset some IBTS costs
and is therefore of benefit to the health
service.
Data Protection
The IBTS holds donor details, donation
details and test results on a secure
computerised database. This database
is used by the IBTS to communicate
with donors and to record their donation
details, including all blood sample test
results. It is also used for the proper and
necessary administration of the IBTS.
All the information held is treated in the
strictest confidence.
PAGE 8 OF 8 This information may also be used
for research in order to improve our
knowledge about the blood donor
population, and for clinical audit, to
assess and improve the quality of our
service. Wherever possible, all such
information will be anonymised.
All information and data that is processed
by the IBTS is in accordance with the
provisions of the Data Protection Acts.
You have a right of access to your donor
records. However, the IBTS is legally
bound under the relevant European Union
Directives that relate to blood donation,
to maintain your records, including the
health and lifestyle questionnaires that
you completed when you donated, on file
for a minimum of 30 years. If you want
to access your records, contact Donor
Services, Dublin on 01 4322800 or Cork
on 021 4807400.
Further Information
If you have a question at any time you
can phone our Infoline on 1850 731
137. This is open Monday to Friday from
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can also visit our
website on www.giveblood.ie or email us
at [email protected] Details of our clinics
are available on our website.
If you need any information or have a
query while you are at the blood donor
clinic please speak with a member of our
clinic staff.
BT 353-4 July 2013
Please read this information carefully
may be used, including what happens
to surplus / waste components from the
processing of their life saving gift.
Please read this information carefully
BLOOD SAFETY INFORMATION
KEEP BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS SAFE
Help us to keep blood transfusions safe
by reading this before you give blood. It
will help you decide if you should give
blood.
• Sex with anyone with Haemophilia or
other blood clotting disorder who has
ever been treated with Clotting Factor
Concentrates*
Please read carefully
• If you are female: Sex with a male
who has ever had oral or anal sex with
another male with or without a condom
or other form of protection.
A doctor or nurse is here to speak with
you if you have any concerns about giving
blood.
Each blood donation is tested for
infections that can be passed on by blood
transfusions. These infections may not
always show up on testing in the early
stages. This is why we must take great
care in donor selection and why you must
not give blood to see if you are infected.
If you give blood to see if you are infected
you are putting patients’ lives at risk.
Thank you for coming to give blood. Your
gift could save someone’s life.
You must NOT give blood for at least 12
months after you last had:
• Sex with anyone who has:
- HIV
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
All the above apply even if a condom or
other form of protection was used.
You must NOT give blood for at least 12
months after:
• You last snorted cocaine or any
non-prescribed drug
• You left prison.
You must NOT give blood if:
• You think you need a test for HIV or
hepatitis.
You must NEVER give blood if:
• You or your partner have HIV
• You, your partner or close household
contacts have hepatitis B or C*
• Sex with anyone who has ever been
given money or drugs for sex
• You have ever received money or drugs
for sex
• Sex with anyone who has ever injected
or who has been injected with nonprescribed drugs, even once or a long
time ago. This includes body-building
drugs
• You have ever injected, or have been
injected with, non-prescribed drugs;
even once or a long time ago. This
includes body building drugs
• Sex with anyone who may ever have
had sex in parts of the world where HIV
is very common. This includes Africa
and South East Asia*
• You are a male who has ever had oral
or anal sex with another male, even if a
condom or other form of protection was
used.
All the above apply even if a condom or
other form of protection was used.
* There are exceptions so please speak
to a doctor or nurse.
PAGE 1 OF 2 BT 136-9 July 2013
If you do, you risk infecting other people.
You can get a confidential test for HIV
or hepatitis from clinics for sexually
transmitted infections.
Who can I talk to?
If you are worried about HIV or hepatitis,
there are several people you can talk to
such as the Clinic Doctor or Nurse, or
your GP. You can also talk in confidence
with a doctor by phoning the National
Blood Centre (01) 432 2800 or the
Munster Regional Transfusion Centre
(021) 480 7400.
EARLY STAGE INFECTION MAY NOT ALWAYS SHOW UP ON
TESTING, SO WE MUST TAKE GREAT CARE IN DONOR SELECTION
PAGE 2 OF 2 BT 136-9 July 2013
Please read this information carefully
NEVER give blood to get a test for HIV or
hepatitis:
Please read this information carefully
DEFERRAL INFORMATION
Thank you for attending the Clinic.
You may not be able to donate today for the following reasons:
REASONS EXCLUDED FROM DONATING FOR
Under 18 years of age
Until 18th Birthday
Minimum Weight: 50kgs (7st, 12lbs)
Unless minimum weight is reached
Maximum Weight on Mobile Clinic Beds:
120kgs (20st, 6lbs)
Unless under the maximum weight
Cold
Until Recovered
Uncomplicated dental filling or scaling
24 Hours
Dental extraction
One Week
Flu - following full recovery from symptoms
Two Weeks
Contact with infectious diseases (where you have not previously been infected)
e.g. chicken pox, mumps, measles,
German measles
Four Weeks
Surgical Procedure
Two – Six Months
Visit to a Tropical Area
Three Months
Endoscopy
Four Months
Acupuncture – some cases only – Please ask
Four Months
Ear, face or body piercing, tattooing
Four Months
Visit to a Malarial Area
Twelve Months
Have been pregnant or had a baby
Twelve Months
Angina / Heart Attack
Indefinite
Cancer
Indefinite
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / M.E.
Indefinite
65 years of age and over, if one never donated before
Indefinite
A blood transfusion since 01 January 1980 in the Republic of Ireland or ever outside the ROI (other than an autologous transfusion)
Indefinite
MSM - Men who have ever had sex with men
Indefinite
Intravenous Drug Usage - even once or a long time ago
Indefinite
Spent 1 year or more in the UK* between the years 1980-1996 including living, working, or
on holidays.
Indefinite
*(England, Wales, Scotland, Nth Ireland, the
Channel Islands, the Isle of Man)
When you become eligible to donate
please return to donate as blood is always needed.
PAGE 1 OF 1 BT 309-15 Mar 2012
Thank you very much for attending to donate blood. We appreciate your effort
very much.
Please read this leaflet carefully before you go in for your interview.
If you have any questions please ask the Doctor or Nurse.
Can I donate Blood today?
There are many reasons why you may
not be eligible to donate blood today, for
example you may have a cold or sore
throat or you may have had a tattoo
recently. (Please see deferral information
earlier).
We will tell you if you are eligible to donate
blood. If you are not eligible we will tell
you how long you have to wait before you
can donate.
If I am eligible to donate will you take a
unit of blood from me today?
No. If you are eligible to donate we will
take blood samples from you today. We
will check your blood group and will test
your blood for HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C,
Syphilis and HTLV (a virus that is carried
in the blood).
If I am eligible to donate why won’t you
take a unit of blood from me today?
On the 9th of April 2006 we introduced
a policy whereby donors who were born
outside of Ireland/the United Kingdom
would only have blood samples taken
on the first occasion they were eligible to
donate.
Why did you introduce this policy?
The population in Ireland is changing as
people from different countries come to
PAGE 1 OF 2 live in Ireland. Medical research shows
that people from some countries have a
higher rate of some infections such as
hepatitis B than people who are born in
Ireland/the United Kingdom. We therefore
introduced this policy to keep blood as
safe as possible for the patients who
receive it.
Will you write to me if my blood tests
positive for one of the above infections?
Yes we will. We will invite you to attend
to discuss the test results with one of our
Doctors.
Will you let anyone else know if my
blood tests positive for an infection?
Yes. We are obliged by law to inform the
Public Health Authorities if any donor
tests positive for HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis
C or syphilis. We are obliged to forward
their personal details including their name
and address and the results of their blood
tests.
When will I be able to donate a unit of
blood?
If you give blood samples today, you have
to wait 90 days before you donate a unit
of blood.
If all your blood tests are negative we will
invite you to donate blood when we are
next in your area thereafter.
BT 366-4 July 2013
Please read this information carefully
INFORMATION FOR NEW DONORS WHO WERE
BORN OUTSIDE OF IRELAND/THE UNITED
KINGDOM
Please read this information carefully
Will you let me know my blood group?
Yes. We will send you a Blood Donor Card
after you donate your first unit of blood.
This card tells you your blood group and
unique Donor Number. Please sign the
back of the card and bring it with you
each time you come to donate.
Do I have to answer the questions on the
questionnaire every time I donate?
Yes you do. It is very important that you
read the questionnaire carefully every
time you attend to donate. This is in case
your circumstances have changed from
the last time you donated.
Do you test my blood every time I
donate?
Yes. We check all donors’ blood for HIV,
hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HTLV and syphilis
every time they donate, no matter how
many times they have given blood. Each
blood donation is tested for infections that
can be passed on by blood transfusions.
These infections may not always show up
on testing in the early stages. This is why
we must take great care in donor selection
and why you must not give blood to see
if you are infected. If you do, you are
putting patients’ lives at risk.
How often can I donate blood?
You can donate blood every 90 days if you
are feeling fit and healthy unless we have
advised you not to donate.
What if I change my mind?
If you are eligible to donate but decide,
for whatever reason, that you would rather
not do so, you can change your mind and
leave the clinic at any time.
Why should I not give blood if I think I
need a test for HIV or hepatitis?
You must NEVER give blood to get a
test for HIV or hepatitis. If you do, you
risk infecting other people. You can get
a confidential test for HIV or hepatitis
from your GP or from clinics for sexually
transmitted infections.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR ATTENDING TO DONATE BLOOD.
WE APPRECIATE YOUR EFFORT VERY MUCH.
PAGE 2 OF 2 BT 366-4 July 2013
HAEMOGLOBIN AND IRON
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Haemoglobin?
Haemoglobin, or ‘Hb’, is a protein that
contains iron and is found in red blood
cells. It carries oxygen around the body
and gives blood its red colour.
Haemoglobin levels vary from person
to person and men usually have higher
levels than women. Hb levels are often
slightly lower in the summer months.
Each time you come to donate your
haemoglobin level is checked.
Why is my Hb measured before each
donation?
At the Irish Blood Transfusion Service
(IBTS), the health of our donors and
recipients is a priority.
The Hb (the fingerprick) test is performed
to ensure that it is safe for you to donate
blood and also that there are sufficient
red cells in the donation for the person
receiving your blood. This test is a
screening test. It is a reliable test but it is
not as accurate as a test done using blood
from a vein in your arm and on occasion
the fingerprick test may under or overestimate the amount of Hb.
Red cells (containing Hb) are removed
when you give blood, causing a temporary
drop in the Hb level. The minimum Hb
levels needed before giving blood take
into consideration the expected drop in
Hb.
What causes low Hb?
There are a number of possible reasons,
including:
• Normal variation – for some individuals
a slightly low Hb level is normal and not
the result of any health problem
• Lack of iron which is required to make
new red cells
• A deficiency in vitamin B12 or folate
• Conditions causing blood loss,
including blood donation
• Other health problems
What is IRON and where do I get it
from?
Iron is a mineral nutrient that your body
needs to function normally. It is a vital
part of haemoglobin. Your body obtains
iron from your diet. Iron is mainly used for
making new red cells.
The remaining iron is stored and used at
times when there is an increased need for
iron such as with growth, in pregnancy
or blood loss. The term iron deficiency is
used when these stores have been used
up.
Is it possible to have normal
haemoglobin but low iron?
Yes. This is because in early iron
deficiency there is often enough iron
circulating in your red cells to keep your
haemoglobin level normal.
What are the effects of low iron levels?
Iron deficiency does not always cause
symptoms. In some individuals it may
be associated with tiredness, impaired
concentration or poor work performance.
If you feel you may be low in iron, you
should consult your GP.
Continued iron loss will affect the
production of haemoglobin. If
haemoglobin levels fall below the normal
range, this is called anaemia.
Iron deficiency is a common cause of low Hb
PAGE 1 OF 2 BT 569 - April 2013
Who is at risk of iron deficiency?
The chance of developing iron deficiency
is higher in donors who:
• Have low iron stores before donation –
stores are generally lower in women of
child bearing age and young donors
• Have a diet low in iron
• Have medical conditions or surgery
which reduce the amount of iron the
body can absorb
• Have non-donation related blood loss
• Make frequent donations over a long
period
Iron deficiency may be the result of more
than one cause.
What can I do to boost my iron levels?
You should eat a well balanced diet. A
healthy, iron-enriched diet is important
for all donors, other than those with
Haemochromatosis.
Due to monthly blood losses, women need
more dietary iron than men. Although iron
is found in many foods, some sources of
iron are better absorbed by the body than
others.
The iron in red meat is absorbed up to
seven times more easily than the iron in
vegetables, cereals, fruits and nuts.
If you are a vegetarian, or your diet does
not contain meat or fish, extra care is
needed to ensure it isn’t lacking in iron.
A well planned vegetarian diet should
include iron-rich foods such as those
mentioned in the above list.
Vitamin C helps the body to absorb more
iron so to get the most from the food that
you eat, have vitamin C rich foods with
meals, e.g. a fruit juice drink with your
breakfast cereal or green vegetables with
meat. Avoid drinking tea, coffee or cocoa
just before, with or immediately after
meals as this may reduce the absorption
of iron from foods.
For further information visit
www.bordbia.ie
Do I need to take iron tablets?
You should not take iron tablets unless
advised to do so by your GP or other
doctor. If you have been prescribed iron
because of iron deficiency we recommend
that you do not donate blood for at least
12 months after you started taking iron.
This is to allow time for your iron stores
to recover. Please note that we will not
accept a donation from you while you are
on iron tablets.
When can I donate again?
Unfortunately as you did not pass the
Haemoglobin test today you will not be
eligible to donate for between 3 - 12
months depending on your actual result.
This is to allow your Hb to reach the level
required for you to donate. We will advise
you of the next time you may be able to
donate.
Good sources of iron include:
-Lean red meat (beef, pork, lamb)
-Nuts, including peanut butter
-Chicken & turkey, particularly the dark
meat
-Wholegrains, including brown rice
-Oily fish – mackerel, sardines, salmon and
shellfish
-Eggs
-Tofu
-Bread, especially wholemeal or brown
bread
-Breakfast cereals fortified with iron
-Leafy green vegetables - curly kale,
broccoli, spinach,
-Pulses & beans, canned baked beans,
chickpeas and lentils
-Dried fruit, particularly apricots, raisins
and prunes
PAGE 2 OF 2 BT 569 - April 2013
vCJD and Blood Donation
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob
Disease (vCJD)?
vCJD is the human form of Bovine
Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). It was
first reported in the United Kingdom (UK)
in 1996. It is thought to be contracted
by eating bovine meat products infected
with an abnormal prion protein. This is
generally accepted as being the same
agent that causes BSE.
Q. What are the risks associated with
contracting vCJD?
The main risk associated with contracting
vCJD is dietary exposure to meat or
meat products infected with BSE. This
could have occurred through residing
in the UK in the years 1980 to 1996, or
from consuming infected meat or meat
products in Ireland, either imported
from the UK or from Irish sources,
before all control measures were in
place. The National CJD Advisory Group
commissioned research on vCJD risk in
the Republic of Ireland. This concluded
that the likelihood of future cases
occurring in Ireland from the above
sources is extremely small.
Other possible risks include:
•Receiving a blood transfusion from a
donor who was well at the time he/she
donated but later developed vCJD
•Having certain operations where
instruments are used that were
previously used on a patient who later
went on to develop vCJD. This is a
possible risk even if the instruments
used are thoroughly cleaned and
sterilised after surgery.
PAGE 1 OF 3 Q. How many cases of vCJD have there
been in the UK or elsewhere?
To date there have been 210 cases of
vCJD worldwide, 4 of which were due to
blood transfusion, the rest were probably
caused by eating contaminated meat
products. 170 of these cases were in the
UK, 25 in France and 4 in Ireland.
Q. Are people who lived in the UK between
1980 and 1996 at risk of contracting vCJD?
The risk of contracting vCJD through
travelling and living in the UK in this
period is considered to be low. It should
be noted that in the UK where tens
of millions of people were potentially
exposed to vCJD through eating infected
food, there have only been 170 cases of
the disease to date.
Q. What is significant about residence in
the UK in the period 1980 to 1996?
This period covers the epidemic of BSE in
cattle in the UK that occurred in the years
1980 to 1996. The first cases of BSE in
cattle in the UK were reported in 1986.
Scientists believe the incubation period
for the disease in cattle is about five
years, so BSE most likely first appeared in
cattle around 1980. It is thought that BSE
occurred in cattle that were fed meat and
bone meal from other animals.
The UK introduced a ban on feeding
meat and bone meal to cattle in 1988,
and subsequently introduced a series of
measures to reduce the risk of humans
being exposed to infection. These
measures have been fully implemented
since 1996.
BT 323-6 Jan 2010
Q. What areas in the UK are included for
the purposes of this deferral policy?
The areas are Northern Ireland, England,
Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands and
the Isle of Man.
Q. What is the relevant period?
The relevant period is the sum total of all
time spent in the above areas between 1
January 1980 and 31 December 1996,
including brief trips, weekend visits,
attending college, holidays, work or
periods of residence.
Q. What else has the IBTS done to reduce
the risk of transmission of vCJD by blood
transfusion?
Since the first cases of vCJD were
reported in the UK in 1996, the IBTS has
taken a number of precautionary steps
including:
• From November 1999 the removal of
most of the white cells from blood
(white cells are considered by experts
to be a potential source of infection)
• The National Blood Users Group issued
guidance to all doctors in January 2001,
setting out best practice for blood usage
in surgical patients
• From April 2001, people who spent 5
years or more in the UK between 1
January 1980 and 31 December 1996
were excluded from donating blood
• From October 2002 people who had
previously received blood transfusions
outside the Republic of Ireland were
excluded from donating blood in Ireland
• The importation of plasma from BSE
free countries
• From May 2004 people who had spent
3 years or more in the UK between 1
January 1980 and 31 December 1996
were excluded from donating
• From May 2004 people who had
received blood transfusions in the
Republic of Ireland (other than
autologous transfusions) since 1
PAGE 2 OF 3 January 1980 were excluded from
donating
• From November 2004 people who had
spent 1 year or more in the UK between
1 January 1980 and 31 December
1996 were excluded from donating
blood
• From November 2004 people who had
certain operations in the UK since 1
January 1980 were excluded from
donating. These include neurosurgery,
eye surgery, laser eye treatment,
appendectomy, tonsillectomy,
adenoidectomy, splenectomy and
lymph node biopsy
• From October 2006 people who had
root canal treatment in the UK since
1 January 1980 were excluded from
donating unless their dentist had used
only single use disposable files and
reamers.
Q. Why did the IBTS exclude people who
had received blood transfusions in Ireland?
This was introduced as a precautionary
measure in May 2004 in response to
the first transmission of vCJD by blood
transfusion in the UK. The donor was well
at the time of donation but later developed
vCJD.
Q. I received a blood transfusion in the
Republic of Ireland since January 1980.
Does this mean I could develop vCJD?
On the available evidence, the risk
to patients from blood and blood
components in the Republic of Ireland
is extremely small and may be zero. This
risk is far outweighed by the potential
medical consequences of not receiving
blood when it is required.
Q. Can blood donors get vCJD by donating
blood?
No absolutely not. The materials used
for every donation are new, sterile and
disposable and are used only once. Giving
blood carries no risk of catching vCJD.
BT 323-6 Jan 2010
Q. Is there a test for vCJD?
There is no blood test available for the
disease at present and while there are
a number of companies working on
developing a test, it will be a few years
before one will be available. So there is
no way of screening blood donations for
the presence of vCJD at present. 323-5
October 2007
Q. How can I help?
We each have a one in four chance
of needing a blood transfusion in our
lifetime. The IBTS must collect 3,000
units of blood every week to meet patients’
needs. So we are asking you if you can
PAGE 3 OF 3 continue to donate, to donate regularly
and to encourage others to become blood
donors. Every donation saves lives and
your donation is needed now more than
ever.
Q. I can no longer donate as a result of
these measures. Will I ever be eligible to
donate again?
If you are excluded from donating
because of these measures we would like
to say thank you for your valuable support
over the years. As new scientific evidence
emerges we will review our decision. If we
reverse our decision in the light of new
evidence we will get back in touch with
you.
BT 323-6 Jan 2010
WEST NILE VIRUS AND GIVING BLOOD
West Nile Virus (WNV) is an infection
in birds, which can occasionally be
transmitted to humans via the bites
of certain mosquitoes. Normally the
infected person will not show signs of the
illness. Sometimes the individual may
have mild flu-like symptoms and, in a few
cases, it can develop into a more severe
illness.
If a person is infected, the virus will be
present in his/her blood. If this blood
is transfused the patient may go on to
develop WNV infection.
West Nile Virus Infection is geographically
widespread, including North America and
some countries in Europe. In the last few
years the number of countries affected
in Europe has increased. The following
countries / areas are now considered to
be at risk for WNV: Albania, Bulgaria,
Canada, Cuba, Greece, Hungary, Israel,
Italy, Macedonia (former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia), Mexico,
Romania, Russia, Sardinia, Tunisia,
Turkey, Ukraine and the USA. Please
note that this list may change – up-to-date
information is available at clinic – please
ask a member of staff.
Depending on the time of year and the
availability of a test for WNV we either ask
you to wait 4 weeks after you left the area
at-risk of WNV, or take a donation from
you and test your blood for the virus, to
make sure that your blood is not infected.
PAGE 1 OF 1 If you have been to an area at-risk of
WNV, please tell us so that we can advise
you if you can donate today or if you have
to wait for 4 weeks after you left the area.
If you have been unwell during your visit
anywhere abroad or since your return
home, please let us know. We will
recommend that you visit your GP for
advice. If you have been diagnosed as
having WNV Infection or have symptoms
of WNV Infection, you cannot donate
for 6 months after you have made a full
recovery. This is a precaution to make
sure that the virus is not still in your blood
even though you feel well.
As WNV is transmitted by mosquitoes,
the at-risk areas change according to
the seasons. Sometimes cases of WNV
Infection are reported in areas where they
have not occurred before. As the areas
at-risk of WNV change over time and with
the seasons, we advise that you ask us
for further information if you have been
abroad recently.
We would also like to point out that some
countries / states at risk of WNV are also
tropical such as Cuba, Mexico and Hawaii
and you will therefore have to wait 3
months before you can donate blood.
If you need any further information please
ask a member of staff at the blood donor
clinic or contact our Donor Services
Helpline at 1850 731 137
BT 310-13 July 2013
SIMIAN FOAMY VIRUS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q What is Simian Foamy Virus (SFV)?
Simian Foamy Virus (SFV) is a type of
retrovirus that is commonly found in
non human primates such as monkeys,
chimpanzees, baboons and macaques.
About 70 to 90% of non human primates
born in captivity have SFV. To date,
SFVs have not been known to cause any
diseases either in humans or in animals.
People and animals who have SFV have
not displayed any symptoms or become
ill.
Retroviruses have RNA, rather than
DNA, as their genetic material. When a
retrovirus infects a cell, it is incorporated
into the cell’s DNA. This ultimately leads
to the production of more copies of the
virus.
Q. Can SFV be transmitted from person to
person through blood?
The precise mode of transmission of SFV
is not fully understood. However there is
no evidence that SFV can be transmitted
from one person to another. Blood
samples taken from spouses of workers
in the United States and Canada who
had SFV showed no evidence of infection
with SFV. This suggests that transmission
of SFV through sexual or less intimate
contact does not occur easily.
As with other types of retroviruses, it is
possible for the virus to be spread through
body fluid contact, including contact
with infected blood and saliva. A study
undertaken recently by the Public Health
Agency of Canada showed that SFV can be
transmitted from one monkey to another
by blood transfusion. There is no evidence
to date that SFV can be transmitted by
PAGE 1 OF 2 blood transfusion in humans, although the
number of human cases studied is small.
Q. If there is no documented health risk
associated with receiving blood from
a donor who has SFV, why is the IBTS
introducing a donor deferral?
In light of uncertainty regarding health
effects associated with SFV and the
potential risk posed by other as yet
unidentified simian viruses, the IBTS is
taking precautionary measures to protect
Ireland’s blood supply.
Q. What does this mean to me as a donor?
All donors who report having taken care
of or handled non human primates or
their body fluids on a regular basis, even
if this was in the past, will now be asked
not to donate blood. This will mainly affect
people who handle non human primates
or their body fluids as part of their work,
such as workers in zoos, veterinary
surgeons, workers in research institutions
or people who keep monkeys or other
non human primates as pets. We are also
asking people who have ever been bitten
by non human primates not to donate.
Q. What does this mean for Ireland’s blood
supply?
Deferral of donors who have been
exposed to non human primates or their
body fluids should have minimal impact
on the blood supply.
Q. Do people become ill who have SFV?
So far nobody who has tested positive for
SFV has become ill. Some people have
been followed up for 20 years but others
have acquired the virus recently and have
only been followed up for 2 years to date.
BT 382-2 Jan 2010
Q. Could people contract SFV when visiting
zoos that have monkeys?
There is no evidence to indicate that
humans can acquire SFV through casual
contact, i.e. being in the same room or
building as SFV affected monkeys or other
non human primates. However, SFV can
be acquired through bites or scratches
from affected animals or by indirect
contact with affected animals’ blood,
saliva or other body fluids.
Q. Are people who keep New World
monkeys as pets at risk?
Based on current available information,
people who keep New World monkeys as
pets are not at risk of SFV because these
monkeys are not known to transmit this
virus to humans.
PAGE 2 OF 2 However, if pet owners are bitten or
scratched, they should follow standard
first aid precautions. As with other
animals, other infections are possible.
Any sign of infection, or if the animal is ill,
should prompt medical consultation.
Even if your pet monkey is a New World
monkey we ask that you do not donate
blood as a precautionary measure.
Q. Can I be tested for SFV?
No, not at present. Currently there is
no standard test available for SFV. Only
specialised research laboratories carry
out testing for SFV and they do so for
research purposes only.
BT 382-2 Jan 2010
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MEASURING YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE
Every year the IBTS lost thousands of donations because of “high blood
pressure” in blood donors. Most of these donors did not have high blood
pressure at all, at least not in the sense of needing treatment for blood
pressure. As a consequence many of them were put to unnecessary
trouble and anxiety. Therefore we no longer measure donors’ blood
pressure as part of our screening process.
Over the years, several good, careful
studies conducted in the UK and in the
USA have revealed that:
• A high or low blood pressure, in
someone who is well, does not
make a difference when that person
donates blood. They are at no extra
risk for fainting, bruising or other
adverse events from donating.
We now know that measuring blood
pressure at the blood donation clinic:
• isn’t necessary (it doesn’t make the
donation process any safer)
• isn’t the best way to check blood
pressure
• causes thousands of donations to be
lost unnecessarily every year
• Most people who have high blood
pressure at blood donation clinics
are only showing a normal response
to mild anxiety or stress, and do not
need any further treatment or follow up.
• causes unnecessary hassle, upset, and
expense for thousands of people
• A blood donation clinic is not
a good place to test someone’s
blood pressure to see if they are
at increased risk of having heart
disease or a stroke at some point in
their future.
So when you come to donate we won’t
measure your blood pressure. We’ll be
happy to answer any questions you have
about it, and we’ll provide you with advice
on how you can best look after your blood
pressure for your health’s sake.
• causes lots of delays, and slows down
clinics for everyone, for no good
reason.
The Irish Heart Foundation recommends
that if you are over 30, you should have
your blood pressure checked every two or
three years.
PAGE 1 OF 2 BT 449-3 July 2013
MEASURING BLOOD PRESSURE
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You checked my husband’s / wife’s /
friend’s blood pressure and found it
was high. Their GP confirmed this and
started him/her on treatment, so the
check at the clinic does work – it can
detect high blood pressure in some
donors.
That’s true – we have undoubtedly
helped many people by making an early
diagnosis of high blood pressure. On the
other hand, we’ve almost certainly missed
minor degrees of high blood pressure in
many more. This is because the cut off
levels we’ve used for accepting someone
for donation are higher than the levels at
which doctors would now begin treatment.
Also, we’ve caused a lot of upset and even
expense to thousands of donors whose
“high blood pressure” wasn’t the type
associated with increased heart disease or
stroke – it was just a normal response to
mild stress and anxiety.
If you’re not going to measure my blood
pressure, how will I get it checked
instead?
You should have your blood pressure
checked by your GP. This will mean that
you’ll get the check done in a way that will
minimise the chance of getting a falsely
high reading, but will make sure you get
proper repeat testing if the first reading is
high and proper advice and treatment if
it’s persistently high.
What about low blood pressure – I’ve
always had low blood pressure; does this
mean I can donate now?
Yes, you can donate. Having a low blood
pressure is a normal state in many
people. It doesn’t mean that you’ve a
PAGE 2 OF 2 bigger risk of fainting or having any other
adverse event after donating. Some
people develop low blood pressure as part
of an illness, but if you’re well and healthy
then having a lower-than-average blood
pressure reading is probably just your
normal, healthy state.
Why can’t you just measure it anyway –
you’ve always done it before and it’s done
me no harm, and anyway after all the
trouble people go to, and the effort they
make, to donate blood, isn’t it the least you
can do?
We would go on measuring it if that’s all
there was to it.
However from time to time we may well let
someone through the net who has a minor
degree of high blood pressure whose
measurement needs to be repeated and
followed up properly by his or her doctor.
This could be you – we only measure
blood pressure in one arm instead of both,
we don’t do it in a truly quiet environment,
and most of all, we take the donation at a
level that is significantly higher than a GP
would accept before testing you further or
starting you on treatment.
Thousands of donors are turned away
unnecessarily every year because their
blood pressure is high. This doesn’t
mean anything other than they are a little
anxious or stressed (it’s the resting level
of blood pressure that’s important for
your long-term health). This often causes
donors upset and expense in unnecessary
visits to their GP.
It also causes unnecessary slowing down
in the donation clinics. Measuring blood
pressure doesn’t make any difference
to the chances of fainting or bruising or
other adverse events after you donate.
BT 449-3 July 2013
ABOUT US
We are responsible for the collection, processing, testing and
distribution of blood and blood components in Ireland. We also offer
advice, information and assistance, as well as providing research
and training in this crucial area.
Most importantly, we seek to
maintain a sustainable blood supply
by encouraging you, the public to
make these essential donations.
Where to find us
National Headquarters
National Blood Centre
James’s Street
Dublin 8
Tel: (01) 4322800
Fax: (01) 4322930
Donor line: 1850 731 137
Munster Regional Transfusion Centre
St. Finbarr’s Hospital
Douglas Road, Cork
Tel: (021) 4807400
Fax: (021) 4313014
Ardee Centre
John Street
Ardee, Co. Louth
Tel: (041) 6859994
Fax: (041) 6859996
Carlow Centre
Kernanstown Industrial Estate
Hackettstown Road, Carlow
Tel: (059) 9132125 or (059) 9132127
Fax: (059) 9132163
D’Olier Street Blood Donation Clinic
2nd Floor
2-5 D’Olier Street
Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 4745000
Limerick Centre
Carrig House
Cloghkeating Avenue
Raheen Business Park
Limerick
Tel: (061) 306980
Fax: (061) 306981
Stillorgan Blood Donation Clinic
6, Old Dublin Road
Stillorgan
Co. Dublin
Tel: 1850 808 808
Tuam Centre
Unit 49
N17 Business Park
Tuam
Co. Galway
Tel: (093) 70832
Fax: (093) 70587
WHAT WE BELIEVE IN
The IBTS is constantly evolving and improving our services to cater
for your changing needs. That’s why we have put together a set of
values, that help us to remain true to our core beliefs.
Excellence in service
Learning
We will always strive to bring you an
excellent, quality service. This means:
We are committed to ongoing
organisational learning, including
professional and personal development
and research. This means:
Anticipating and responding to your needs
Putting you first
Adopting a can-do attitude
Being flexible
Being professional
Always trying to do better
Respect
We will treat everyone with consideration
and respect. This means:
Being courteous
Listening
Valuing each person’s contribution
Discouraging disrespectful behaviour in a
constructive way
Dealing with people face-to-face when
possible
Being punctual
Being aware of how our behaviour
impacts on others and changing it when
necessary
Honesty
We will always be honest and open.
This means:
Being transparent in our dealings
Being truthful
Following through on what we say we’ll do
Sharing information when appropriate
Supporting and valuing continuous
learning
Sharing that learning
Actively finding new ways of carrying out
our work
Promoting personal development
Mentoring and developing staff
Supporting learning through constructive
feedback
Accountability
We hold ourselves accountable to the
highest professional, personal and public
standards. This means:
Always observing these standards
Assessing ourselves against them
Taking responsibility for our actions
Operating efficiently and effectively
Giving and accepting feedback in a
positive way
Team work
We will always strive to work together in
a positive and constructive manner. This
means:
Promoting teamwork
Encouraging good working relationships
Working cross-functionally to get work
done
Developing team players
Establishing clear roles and goals for and
within teams
OUR PROMISE TO YOU
We will care for you in a confidential and professional
manner and our staff will always be friendly and helpful.
If you cannot be accepted for donation for any reason,
our staff will tell you why. We will ensure, based on
information supplied by you, that you are fit and healthy
before we take your donation.
All staff caring for you will wear a visible name badge.
All donations will be collected with sterile disposable
equipment. Any clinic you visit will be clean and
comfortable. You will experience as little delay as
possible during your visit. You will find clear and
comprehensible information about our service.
We will respond directly to you within ten working
days of a complaint being lodged by you about our
donor services.
All blood samples are tested for specific transmissible
diseases. You will be contacted and informed of any
results which may affect your health. We will also offer
counselling when necessary.
COMMUNICATIONS
The IBTS may communicate with you for a number of different
purposes Donating
We know you have a busy life so we’ll
remind you the next time you’re due
to donate by sending you a letter/text
message/email. We may also text you if
we have a requirement for your particular
blood group and to say thank you after
your visit.
Opting in to receive text messages or
emails implies you are happy for the IBTS
to communicate with you both in relation
to donating and for marketing/information
purposes until such times as you choose
to opt out or until your consent expires as
per the Data Protection Act.
Information and Marketing
Data Protection
We would like to keep in touch with you
and provide you with relevant information
from time to time and let you know about
different campaigns and initiatives that
are happening via email, but we will only
do so with your consent.
The information we use to contact you will
be taken from our secure IBTS database.
The IBTS is committed to protecting the
security of your personal information.
We use a variety of security technologies
and procedures to help protect data from
unauthorised access, alteration, use,
disclosure, accidental loss or destruction.
For more information on our data
protection policy please also see our
website: www.giveblood.ie
Social Media
Join us on Facebook and Twitter for more
clinic updates, interesting facts and for
answers to any queries you may have.
Text Messages/Email
We will only contact you via text or email
where you have given your express
consent. You have the option to opt out of
receiving email or text communications at
any time either by following the directions
in the email to opt out, by contacting us
on our LoCall number below, or you can
let us know the next time you come to a
clinic.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
LoCall: 1850 731 137
RECIPIENT AND DONOR STORIES
As blood donors you take time out of your day to give a precious gift that
costs nothing but time. Here are a few real stories from people whose lives
have been changed for the better because of the time you took to give
blood.
Hilary’s Story
Grainne’s Story
“I’m Hilary and I’m 32. I and my husband
Mick are married almost a year now
and what a year it has been. On the
5th February this year I was brought by
ambulance to the A&E of Tallaght hospital
with abdominal pains. It transpired that
I had an ischemic bowel and had all
but approx 90cm of my small intestine
removed. It was a real emergency touch
and go situation and there was no time for
scans/tests etc as my vital observations
were deteriorating so rapidly. While
surgery was being performed I received
13 units of blood and I later received an
additional 4 units in the initial weeks of
my recovery (my hospital stay totalled 15
weeks!)
“In my case the IBTS and its donors
generosity not only saved one life, it saved
three. Nearly 17 years ago when I gave
birth to my first child, I suffered from
AFLP (Acute Fatty Liver of Pregnancy).
Having received 17 units of blood means
that there are 17 people out there who
gave blood and have helped save my
life. Without them I wouldn’t be writing
my story and I wouldn’t be celebrating
my first wedding anniversary later on this
month.
I am constantly grateful to the IBTS and
encourage anyone who can to donate.”
As a result of my illness/ordeal my entire
family have made an effort to make more
regular routine blood donations. We all
now realise the impact of blood donation.
I am just sorry I didn’t make more of an
effort to donate blood myself before this
all happened.”
This led to liver and kidney failure along
with other complications. This also meant
that after an emergency C section, my
blood was unable to clot.
I received 70 units of A neg blood and
platelets. In fact I drained the blood bank.
My son will be 17 in November. I had two
other children subsequently. Today, we
are all healthy and happy. Three of us
would not be here without the generosity
of strangers.
Siobhan’s Story
Louise’s Story
“First off I am terrified of needles.
Absolutely hate them. My grandmother
was diagnosed with lung cancer just
before my wedding last year. The hospital
said it was caught early and they were
optimistic that they could cure her. This
was in January. Unfortunately she died
in September. All through the months
between the diagnosis and her dying, she
went through so much. Between blood
transfusions, chemo, radiotherapy, she
kept such a brave face.
“My first baby was born with a
disease called Neonatal Alloimmune
Thrombocytopenia (NAIT) and had 2
brain bleeds; he also required platelet*
transfusions and IVIG therapy. (NAIT
is when I produce antibodies because
my body thinks his platelets are a virus
basically - it only happens when I am
pregnant as I have antibodies to the
father’s platelet type). When she died, my husband went and
donated blood for the first time in her
memory. It took me a couple of months
after he donated to pluck up the courage
to donate also. I felt that if my wonderful
nanny could go through all that pain, and
also receive blood from wonderful donors
then I could pluck up the courage to
take a half an hour to donate blood and
hopefully help someone else who would
benefit from it. The first time I couldn’t
donate as I was in the middle of doing
exams so I was told to wait until the stress
of exams was over. The next time the
clinic came around I donated and I felt
great. I am waiting for them to come back
now to my town and I will be donating
again.”
* Platelets are small cells present in
the blood of all healthy people. IBTS
collect Platelet Donations from specific
donor types. Ask at the clinic for more
information.
I then went on to have 2 more
pregnancies with NAIT babies, and I
received IVIG from 20 weeks with my
pregnancies, without that I would have
more than likely lost my babies to brain
haemorrhages. I am so grateful to those
thousands of people who donate platelets
because I’d have lost 3 children without
them.
It is because of the precious time that
people took out of their lives that I now
have three healthy children to look after”.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
You now know how much more you get when you give blood, so why
not encourage your friends, family and colleagues to experience it
too?
What you can tell them
An easy way to encourage people to
give blood is to simply talk about your
experience and help put their fears to
rest. It’s also good to have a few facts
at the ready, as a lot of people are still
unsure about the importance of their
donation.
Why we give blood
3,000 donations are needed every week.
1 in 4 of us will need a transfusion at
some point in our lives.
One single donation can help the recovery
of two patients in hospital.
Social Media
Another great way to promote us is to join
our Facebook group – we already have
almost 50,000 fans. Just log on to www.
facebook.com/giveblood to get started or
on Twitter search for us at giveblood_ie
or Giveplatelets. Join our growing online
community for interaction, facts and
more.
Check the blood supply
As blood only has a shelf life of 35 days,
it’s best to check on our website how
many days blood supply we have. That
way, depending on blood stock levels, you
can decide when’s best to donate blood
or you could download our App to your
mobile phone.
THE IBTS AND THE GAA PARTNERSHIP
On June 16th 2012 it was agreed at the
Coiste Bainistí/Ard Chomhairle meeting
that a partnership between the GAA and
the Irish Blood Transfusion Service would
be established.
we believe the GAA community is key in
helping us in our continued mission of
maintaining a safe and sustainable blood
supply, whilst building a community spirit
around blood donation.
Our aim is to make giving blood as
informed and easy as possible for those
involved in the GAA community. With
similar attributes like community spirit,
pro-social commitment and volunteerism,
The IBTS collects blood at 260 venues
nationally and wishes to link GAA clubs
to these venues with a view to making it
easier for those interested in giving blood
by providing information on how this can
be done.
BLOOD GROUP INFORMATION
There are eight blood groups. What blood
group you are will determine to which
patient your blood can be given. Blood
is in constant demand, but sometimes
we have very pressing needs for specific
blood groups. At these times we may
make an extra effort to contact you to
ask you to donate. On occasions we also
have too much of one type of blood and
may ask you to consider skipping a clinic
to save you time and not waste your
contribution. In such cases we will notify
you. In the absence of any contact please
assume we need your blood.
O Negative blood donors
If you are an O Negative Blood Donor, you
should know that your blood is particularly
important, as it can be used for any
patient, no matter what blood type they
are.
O Negative blood can make the difference
between life and death in emergency
situations, where a person’s blood type is
unknown or unavailable. It is also regularly
used to save the lives of premature and
even unborn babies. You are eligible to
give blood every 90 days, please mark it
in your diary – after all, yours is the only
blood that can be used universally. Blood
groups are hereditary so someone in
your family might be O Neg too. Please
encourage them to become a donor also.
Blood group compatibility chart
GIVERS
R
E
C
E
I
V
E
R
S
Blood group frequency chart
2%
5%
2%
1%
8%
9%
47%
26%
THANK YOU MESSAGE
DR. IAN FRANKLIN
MEDICAL DIRECTOR
You have done something
amazing today – You have
inspired hope where it is needed
most. You get to be the reason a
family is reunited, the reason another breath is taken.
You have given the most valuable gift there is and for
that we thank you.
If this is your first time to give blood we hope that you’ll
make a habit of it and commit to giving blood on a
regular basis. By doing so, you can become part of
something that’s bigger than all of us, but which needs
every one of us.
Medical Director