Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Baldness (hair loss)?

    Whether you may donate blood depends on the cause.

    The condition itself is generally not a problem; the underlying cause may be.

    Sometimes people go bald following a major life event or due to stress. The question is then whether you are fit enough to give blood.

    Please contact the Blood Bank if you have questions (088-730 8686).

  • Flu?

    You may donate blood if you have been symptom-free for at least 2 weeks and have not used antiviral medication for at least 2 weeks. If you have been in contact with a person who has the flu, you may donate blood so long as you do not have any symptoms. Should you develop symptoms within 1 week of donating blood, please contact the Blood Bank as quickly as possible (088-730 8686).

  • Artificial hip or artificial knee?

    An artificial hip or artificial knee is a major surgery. It is a good idea to wait to donate until you have recovered fully. In order to donate, you must be fit and rested and may not have any wounds or sutures any more. It is also a good idea to avoid donation until you are no longer using crutches. Please note: if you have received a blood donation, you cannot be a donor (any more). In case of an infected artificial hip or knee, you must be symptom-free for at least 2 weeks and not be on antibiotics for at least 2 weeks. Please contact the Blood Bank to discuss whether donation can be resumed (088-730 8686). 

  • Hepatitis B?

    Hepatitis B vaccination: you may donate blood again 2 weeks after your vaccination.

    Professional risk: Contact with a Hepatitis B patient is not a problem for blood donation, as long as you have not been involved in a needle stick or biting accident. In this case, you may donate blood again 4 months after the needle stick or biting accident.

    Partner or housemate has (had) Hepatitis B: please contact the Blood Bank at 088-730 8686.

    Infection: please contact the Blood Bank at 088-730 8686.

  • HTLV?

    The Human T-cell Lymphotropic Virus (HTLV) is a virus that can cause a rare form of leukaemia.

    Have you come into contact with an HTLV patient in a professional capacity? This is not a problem for blood donation, so long as you have not been involved in a needle stick or biting accident. If you have been involved in such an incident, you may only donate blood again after 4 months.

    Does or did your partner have HTLV? Please contact the Blood Bank (088-730 8686).

    If you have (had) an HTLV infection: contact the Blood Bank (088-730 8686).

  • Iron storage (haemochromatosis)?

    If you have been diagnosed with haemochromatosis, there are possibilities for donating blood at Sanquin.

    If the disease is not yet in a stable phase or if you have a secondary form of haemochromatosis (this is haemochromatosis due to another disease), your doctor may ask us to perform a therapeutic blood collection (phlebotomy). This blood is not used to treat patients.

    If you have the primary (hereditary) form of the disease, and it is in a stable phase, your blood can be donated to patients if you meet the following requirements:

    Your ferritin levels in the blood must be lower than 100 microgram per litre.

    You are otherwise healthy and meet the requirements set for all other donors.
    You can check our registration form to see if you qualify.

    Your doctor must submit a request including a recent ferritin level in the blood. Your doctor must reconfirm that the disease is still stable annually, using a form (including a recent ferritin blood test).

    After registration, you will meet with a donation doctor and the standard blood tests will be performed to determine whether you can become a donor.

    Donation frequency is no more than 3 times per year for women and 5 times per year for men. There must be at least 8 weeks between donations.

    Please contact the Blood Bank if you have any questions (088-730 8686).

  • Shingles?

    If you have shingles, please contact the Blood Bank as quickly as possible (088-730 8686). We would like to collect plasma from you using plasmapheresis, because your blood contains valuable antibodies (briefly after the appearance of the blisters) that help protect children with reduced immunity against chicken pox.

    If you have had an outbreak of shingles less than 4 weeks ago, we will ask you to donate 1 to 3 times for this purpose within a 6 week period.

    You can contact the Blood Bank for more information (ask for our medical donor administration).

    If you do not wish to donate plasma, you may donate blood 2 weeks after you have recovered.

    Contact with someone who has shingles is not a problem for blood donation if you have not come into direct contact with the affected skin.

    The above also applies to varicella (chicken pox). It is rare in adults, but is caused by the same virus.

  • Stroke (CVA, brain haemorrhage)?

    You may not donate blood. Contact the Blood Bank at 088-730 8686.

  • Bleeding tendency?

    Abnormal bleeding tendency caused by an underlying disease may be a problem for blood donation. Occasional bruises or nosebleeds without underlying disease are not a problem. Consult the Blood Bank at 088-730 8686.

  • Hepatitis A; have you ever had jaundice? ?

    If you ever had Hepatitis A (jaundice) and you recovered from it, please contact the Blood Bank (088-730 8686). We would like to test the amount of antibodies against it present in your blood. If the levels are high enough, we will ask you to donate plasma. The antibodies in the plasma can be used to make medicines for people with reduced immunity against contagious diseases, for example because they have leukaemia. Even if you do not want to become a plasma donor, but do want to participate in the test, we would appreciate it if you contacted us.

    Recently had jaundice (Hepatitis A)? Then you may not donate any blood or plasma for 3 months.

    Contact with patient: If you have had close contact with a patient with Hepatitis A, you may donate blood again 3 months after the last contact (close contact means people sharing the same cutlery, shaving razor or toilet). It does not matter if you have been vaccinated against Hepatitis A or not.

    Vaccination: If you have had a Hepatitis A vaccination before travelling you can donate blood. If you have been vaccinated because you were at risk of contracting Hepatitis A, you may donate 3 months after the vaccination.