Vous pouvez désormais donner votre sang, quelle que soit votre orientation sexuelle.

On the occasion of World Blood Donor Day, and while blood supplies are at their lowest, we explain where and how to donate?

On the occasion of the world blood donor day, the president of the French Blood Establishment, Francois Toujas call “to mobilize all potential donors”. At the microphone of France Info, this June 14, he deplores that the blood levels are close to the alert level.

On the same subject

Infographic: the conditions for being able to donate blood

In effect, stocks of blood bags in France have fallen to around 80,000 while 110,000 are needed in reserve to ensure continuity of care. It is mainly the Covid-19 epidemic, the closure of universities and teleworking, which “have had strong consequences and increased seasonal fluctuations”, he explained. And to remember why blood donations are essential: “We donate blood because patients need it. For these patients, the ability to find other types of care than blood is not possible and therefore not having enough blood would have the consequence of taking caring for fewer patients.”

How to donate blood the first time?

To date, there is no product capable of replacing human blood. the blood donation is therefore essential for the treatment of certain diseases. To give blood the first time, nothing very complicated. All you have to do is go to a collection point (you will find the nearest collection point to you herei) with an identity document, to be resident in France and to have a sufficient command of French to answer the questions that the nurse or doctor will ask you.

To note : you absolutely do not need a blood group card. But be aware that O-negative donors are particularly sought after, as their red blood cells can be transfused to all patients.

What are the conditions for donating blood?

To donate blood, you must have between 18 and 70 years old and weigh more than 50 kg. After age 60, the first donation is subject to the approval of a donor doctor from the French Blood Establishment.

A woman can make a donation 4 times a year, a man 6 times, respecting a period of at least 8 weeks between each.

If in doubt, you can take the test online “Am I eligible to donate blood?”

Note that since March 16, 2022, homosexuals can now donate blood, without any condition (no more reference to their sexual orientation will be made in the questionnaires prior to blood donation). Indeed, before this date, the “men who have sex with men” had to respect a period of abstinence of 4 months before being able to give their blood. It is officially over.

What are the contraindications to blood donation?

Medical treatments, sexual practices or certain stays abroad may prevent you from donating blood. The main contraindications:

  • Being pregnant or having given birth less than 6 months ago
  • Have taken antibiotics or had a fever or infection within 2 weeks prior to the donation.
  • Having undergone surgery or an endoscopic examination within the last 4 months.
  • Have a history of malaria (up to 3 years after the last attack).
  • Have done scaling or dental treatment in the week preceding the donation.
  • Have tested positive for HIV (AIDS), or HBV (hepatitis B) or HCV (hepatitis C) or syphilis.
  • Have been in recent contact with a person suffering from a contagious disease (the delay then varies according to the incubation period).
  • Having had a tattoo or piercing less than 4 months ago.
  • Have had sex with several different partners in the past 4 months.

How is a sample taken?

First of all, a doctor or a nurse evaluates and appreciates the potential contraindications during a confidential interview called “predonation interview”. Then follows the sampling stage, very similar to a blood test but which lasts about ten minutes. Then a rest time and a snack time.

This four-step donor journey takes between 30 and 45 minutes. But the donation itself lasts between 8 to 10 minutes. Between 400 and 500 ml of blood are collected, depending on the blood volume of the donor.

Note that it is not no need to fast. On the contrary, it is better to arrive with a full stomach. But avoiding too fatty dishes or alcohol.

Donating blood after an anti-Covid vaccine, is it possible?

In the context of the Covid vaccination campaign, the EFS recalls that in the vast majority of cases, it is possible to donate blood after a vaccine injection against Covid-19, without any adjournment deadline to be respected.

  • You can go to collection unless you have tested positive for Covid-19.
  • In this case, you must wait 28 days after symptoms start or 14 days after symptoms disappear before you can donate.
  • If you are asymptomatic with a positive Covid-19 test, you must wait 14 days from the date of the test.
  • If you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of covid-19, you must wait 14 days after the last contact unless the PCR test is negative.

How many rare blood groups are there?

Blood groups whose frequency in the population is low enough to create an imbalance between the number of donors and the needs of patients are called “rare”. About 250 rare blood groups have thus been identified and for these people there are no other compatible blood groups for a possible transfusion. Hence the call of the EFS to recruit new donors because their blood can treat patients with the same rare blood group awaiting a transfusion.

>> These rare blood products are frozen in the National Rare Phenotype Blood Bank (BNSPR) located within the Créteil site of the French Blood Establishment. They can thus be kept for many years while waiting for the need, compared to only a few dozen days for a “classic” blood bag.

Where to give blood ?

The list of all donation locations is available on the EFS website. After a first donation, and depending on the level of blood product reserves, the EFS may contact you by SMS, telephone or email to ask you for a new donation.

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