Blood Donation and Travel
Travelling outside of the UK can affect if you are able to donate blood after you return. This is because certain diseases caught during travel are present in blood and may then be transmitted through donated blood or blood products. This can have severe consequences for the person receiving the blood.
Examples of these diseases include:
If you would like to donate blood but are unsure if you are able to due to recent travel abroad, you should contact your national blood transfusion service and speak to a blood donation advisor.
All potential donors will be asked:
- if you were born abroad
- if you have lived or worked abroad for more than six months
- if you have had any illnesses whilst you were travelling or after you returned home from travelling abroad
Receiving vaccinations within 8 weeks of when you plan to donate blood may affect if you are allowed to donate. You should discuss this with a blood donation advisor before attending your appointment if you are unsure if this affects you.
Further information on giving blood after travelling abroad can be found on the following websites.
Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS)
- Tel: 0345 90 90 999
- Website: www.scotblood.co.uk
NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT)
- Tel: 0300 123 23 23
- Website: www.blood.co.uk
Welsh Blood Service (WBS)
- Tel: 0800 25 22 66
- Website: www.welsh-blood.org.uk
Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service (NIBTS)
- Tel: 08085 534 666
- Website: www.nibts.org