Blood donation: requirements, how and who can donate blood

Simple, fast and secure. The act of donating blood is crucial and can save up to 4 people in a single donation.

Donating regularly helps to ensure that blood bank stocks are always able to serve patients.

To do this, just fit the criteria for donors and respect an interval of 2 months for men and 3 months for women between each donation.


What is blood donation?

Blood donation is carried out by collecting blood from a donor so that it can be used to treat another person.

In Brazil 3.6 million blood bags are collected per year, which corresponds to only 1.8% of the population donating blood. Although this percentage is within the parameters of the World Health Organization (WHO), the institution seeks to increase this index by reducing the minimum age from 18 to 16 years (with the authorization of those responsible) and increasing the maximum age from 67 to 69 years.

Since 2005, WHO has celebrated June 14th as World Blood Donor Day, a date that aims to raise awareness of the importance of the act and to honor the volunteers who already practice the donation.

What is the importance of donating blood?

Although science has advanced a lot and has made several discoveries in the health field, a substitute for human blood has not yet been found. Therefore, when a person needs a blood transfusion, they can only count on the collaboration of volunteers.


There are many situations that a person may need a transfusion, such as:

  • Patients who are victims of car accidents;
  • Burn patients;
  • Anemic patients;
  • Patients with blood clotting problems.

Transfusions are performed for a variety of reasons, some of which are:

  • Increase the blood’s ability to carry oxygen;
  • Restore the body’s blood volume;
  • Improve immunity;
  • Correct coagulation disorders.

National donation campaign 2019: Ministry of Health in favor of solidarity

The Ministry of Health, together with blood centers and health units, promotes campaigns for blood donation, bringing information about the importance and clarifying doubts about the procedure.

The actions take place continuously, as the act of donating is necessary throughout the year, although in some periods regular drops in the number of donors are observed.

To learn more about the Ministry of Health’s action in 2019, watch the video:

National Blood Donation Incentive Campaign 2019

And it is worth remembering that the campaign is for all people, including those who cannot be donors.

Whoever wants to participate and, for some reason, is prevented from making the donation, can also participate by spreading and sharing information to raise awareness among friends and family.

For those who are already donors or donors and want a helping hand to know when help is needed, the Ministry of Health suggests using social networks. On Facebook you can register as a donor (a) and be notified if any nearby location is in need of blood.

You can even mark the blood type, but if you don’t know, there are no problems. All types are necessary and the collection centers do all the necessary procedures.

Blood types

There are eight blood types divided into the population. In the tables below you can see how they are divided and what are the types that can donate and receive from each other.

Blood types in the population

Group A +


Group O +


Group B +


Group O –


Group A –


AB + Group


B Group –


AB Group –


Donors and recipients

Blood type

You can receive from:

You can donate to:


A and O

A e AB


B e O

B e AB


A, B, AB e O




A, B, AB e O

Basic donation requirements

There are some basic requirements for making a blood donation possible, they are:

  • Be in good general health;
  • Be rested;
  • Be between 16 * and 69 years old, since the first donation has been made up to the age of 60;
  • Weigh more than 50kg;
  • Be fed. It is important to have a healthy diet before donation, so avoid fatty foods and, after lunch, wait 2 hours to donate;
  • Carry an official document with a photo;
  • Respect the minimum interval between donations;
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid risky behavior.

* For people under 18, a parent authorization form is required.

You will not be able to donate blood if:

  • You are under 16 years old or over 69 * years old;
  • Weigh less than 50 kg;
  • Have anemia in the test performed before the donation;
  • Have hypertension or hypotension at the time of donation;
  • You have a fever on the day of the donation;
  • You are pregnant;
  • You are breastfeeding, unless the birth occurred more than 12 months ago.

* The upper limit for the first donation is 60 years old. Those who are 61 or older and have never donated are unfit.

The donor will also not be able to perform the procedure if he is accompanied by children under the age of 13 and without the presence of another adult to be able to take care of them.

Impediments to donate over time

48 hours

  • If you have received vaccines prepared with dead viruses or bacteria, toxoid or recombinants (eg cholera, polio (salk), diphtheria, tetanus, typhoid (injectable), meningitis, whooping cough, pneumococcus);
  • If you received a flu shot.

For seven days

  • If you have had diarrhea;
  • After the flu or cold symptoms end;
  • After curing of conjunctivitis;
  • If you have had a tooth extraction;
  • If you had a root canal.

For two weeks

  • After you finish treating bacterial infections with antibiotics;
  • After curing rubella;
  • After curing of erysipelas.

For three weeks

  • After curing the mumps;
  • After curing chicken pox (chickenpox).

For four weeks

  • If you have received live, attenuated virus or bacterial vaccines. Eg: oral polio (sabin), oral typhoid fever, mumps, yellow fever, measles, rubella, chicken pox, smallpox and others;
  • If you received tetanus serum;
  • After curing dengue;
  • If you have had dental surgery with general anesthesia.

For eight weeks valid for men only

  • After having made a blood donation. This period should be extended to 16 weeks if there was a double donation of red blood cells by apheresis.

Twelve weeks valid for women only

  • After a blood donation. This period should be extended to 24 weeks if there was a double donation of red blood cells by apheresis;
  • After delivery or abortion.

For three months

  • If you have undergone surgery such as: appendectomy, hemorrhoidectomy, hernioplasty, resection of varicose veins, tonsillectomy.

For six months to 1 year

  • If you have undergone a medium or large surgery, such as: cholecystectomy, hysterectomy, thyroidectomy, colectomy, post trauma splenectomy, nephrectomy, among others;
  • After the cure of toxoplasmosis confirmed by laboratory tests;
  • If you have undergone any endoscopic procedure, such as upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, colonoscopy and rhinoscopy, you must wait six months;
  • After the total disappearance of cold sores or genital herpes. In the case of Herpes Zoster (Varicella Zoster virus), you are able to donate after 6 months of healing.
  • If you have pierced your body (if the piercing is in the oral or genital cavity, due to the permanent risk of infection, it causes disability for 12 months after removal).

For twelve months

  • If you received a transfusion of blood, plasma, platelets or blood products;
  • If you received a skin graft;
  • If you have had an accident that has been contaminated with someone else’s blood;
  • If you have ever shared needles with others;
  • If you have had sex with one or more unknown or casual partners, without using condoms;
  • If you have had sexual contact with someone who has tested positive for HIV;
  • If you have had contact with people who received or paid for the sexual act using money or drugs;
  • If you have had sexual contact with an intravenous drug user;
  • If you have had sexual contact with a person who has had a blood transfusion in the past 12 months;
  • If you have had sexual intercourse with patients with hepatitis;
  • If you have had a tattoo or permanent makeup;
  • If you have had syphilis or gonorrhea;
  • If you have been detained for more than 24 hours.

For five years

  • After curing of pulmonary tuberculosis.

Definitive impediments

  • Positive result for blood-borne diseases such as Hepatitis B and C, AIDS (HIV virus), diseases associated with HTLV I and II viruses and Chagas disease;
  • Had hepatitis after 10 years of age;
  • You have had malaria;
  • He received a dura mater graft;
  • Had some type of cancer, including leukemia;
  • If you have severe heart, lung, kidney or liver problems;
  • If you have problems with blood clotting;
  • If you have diabetes with vascular complications or are using insulin;
  • If you have had extra-pulmonary tuberculosis;
  • If you have had elephantiasis, leprosy, kala azar (visceral leishmaniasis), or brucellosis;
  • If you have ever had hepatosplenic schistosomiasis;
  • If you have a disease that you are not able to answer for yourself (legal liability);
  • If you have undergone an organ or bone marrow transplant.

Who has HPV  can donate blood?

Yes. Although HPV disease is sexually transmitted, it does not prevent blood donation.

STDs that prevent blood donation are: Syphilis , HIV and Hepatitis B and C.

What is the immune window?

The immunological window corresponds to the period that the organism is already infected by some disease, but it still does not produce enough antibodies to be detected in the tests performed in the serological screening.

The incubation time varies depending on the disease, so even if you do not have symptoms, you can be prevented from donating.

Care before donation

In the weeks before donation, try to include a reasonable amount of iron in your diet, such as meats and seafood. You can also find sources of iron in foods such as beans , vegetables, some types of bread and fruits.

To avoid weakness, take a minimum rest of 6 hours the night before and do not consume anything alcoholic for 24 hours before donation. During the day, avoid smoking for at least two hours and try to eat and drink in a healthy way. Never donate blood on an empty stomach, as this will prevent you from feeling faint or dizzy after donation.

It is necessary to prevent certain activities at least 12 hours before the donation, such as driving buses and other large vehicles, flying planes or helicopters, practicing sports such as parachuting or diving and climbing on scaffolding.

Also try to wear comfortable clothes that can be easily folded. If you think it is necessary, take a list of all the medications you use on a daily basis. Remembering that there is no restriction on the use of contraceptives or common remedies, such as mild pain relievers, but you should contact the blood bank to confirm the possibility of donation.

How the procedure is performed

The blood donation process is generally divided into four stages:

  1. Non-local entry.
  2. Medical history and mini-physical examination.
  3. Donation.
  4. Food.

The whole procedure takes about an hour.

1. Non-local entry

In this first moment, you will fill some papers with your personal information, such as name, address, telephone number and some questions about your daily routine.

2. Medical history and mini-physical examination

After filling out the papers, based on your answers, a doctor will ask you some questions about your physical health and your lifestyle. Then a mini physical exam will be performed to measure your pulse, blood pressure and temperature. The doctor will also prick your finger to measure your blood iron level and make sure it is safe for you to do the transfusion.

3. Donation

At this time, when the donation actually takes place, you will lie down on a stretcher and a doctor will prepare you, checking which is the best arm for drawing blood based on the exposed veins. After cleaning the site, a sterile needle will be inserted into your vein. It only takes a few seconds and you can feel a quick little sting.

About a liter of blood will be taken from you, and the process should take less than 10 minutes. After removing the needle, the person responsible for your care will make a dressing on the spot.

4. Food

Right after the donation, it is recommended that you remain in place for observation for about 15 minutes. In that time, you will be offered a snack so that you can recover some fluids that you lost during the donation.

Care after donation

After the donation, you must wait for 15 minutes before being released. Drink plenty of fluids and try not to smoke for at least two hours after the procedure.

During the day, try to avoid physical exercises that require a lot of effort, such as climbing ramps and stairs, or even going to the gym, as there may be a risk of feeling weak, dizzy and even fainting.

Try not to use the arm where the collection was performed, as the effort with it may cause bleeding or even bruising.

Keep the dressing in place for at least four hours. If there is bleeding, press the area for a few minutes and change the dressing.

If you feel uncomfortable and prefer that your blood is not used in donations, you can go to the place where you made the donation and ask for the blood to be discarded.

Adverse reactions

During blood donation and up to 24 hours after the procedure, you may notice some adverse reactions related to poor nutrition, poor sleep, anxiety and stress , such as:

  • Tingling of hands and feet;
  • Sweat;
  • He retched;
  • Visual turbidity;
  • Feeling faint, also causing rare convulsions;
  • Hematoma at the needle application site.

What is done with the donated blood?

The blood is separated into blood components, such as red blood cell concentrate, platelet concentrate and fresh plasma and undergoes several laboratory tests to check whether it is suitable for use, these tests are:

  • Blood typing, serology and NAT (nucleic acid test) for hepatitis C and HIV (AIDS virus);
  • Serology for hepatitis B, Chagas disease, syphilis, and HTLV.

Right after the initial screening, after proven that they are suitable for use, the blood collected is sent to hospitals to be used in patients who need it, such as those facing bleeding, those undergoing chemotherapy and in cases of surgery and transplants.

Plasma that is not used can be sent to Hemobrás, which is a drug production industry for people who have hemorrhagic diseases.

If any exam changes, will I be notified?

Yes. If there are any changes in the test results, correspondence will be sent to your home asking you to come to the place where you donated blood to collect a new sample and receive medical advice.

It is important that you do not miss the place, because, in addition to clarifying any doubts you may have, the doctor will explain to you how the reagent results in the tests work and that they may exist for various reasons, not that there is necessarily a disease.

Volume of blood collected in donations

The volume of blood collection is the same for men and women and is around 405 to 495 mL.

This does not interfere with human health, as less than 10% of an adult’s total blood volume is removed. The amount of donated blood is replenished naturally by your body.

Donation interval

The frequency of donation is determined by the donor, so nothing prevents the decision to donate only once a year or even once in a lifetime. But, if you want to become a frequent donor, there is an interval that must be respected:

  • For men, the interval should be 60 days, counting 4 donations per year.
  • For women, the interval is 90 days, accounting for 3 donations per year.

The difference between men and women is due to the replacement of the iron stock taking longer in the female body due to menstrual cycles.

Blood donation and medical certificate

If you think it is necessary, you can request a medical certificate at the place where you donated blood. Companies are required by law to accept the certificate at least one day of the year.

Benefits for blood donors

Although any type of trade with donated blood is prohibited, as it understands that the action must be voluntary, there are some benefits granted to those who are regular donors, with the intention of stimulating the act of donation.

In addition to guaranteeing the medical certificate for at least one day of the year without discounting your salary, you can get discounts on tickets for shows, cinemas, theaters and other events with the presentation of the donor card.

How can I find the location closest to me?

There is a list made available by the National Register of Voluntary Bone Marrow Donors (REDOME) with all blood centers in Brazil.

To check which one is closest to you, click here .

With the donation of blood, in addition to helping four people, you will feel extremely good about yourself after making this gesture so beautiful and generous!

Share it with your friends so they know the importance of donation and become a donor!