Eligibility Criteria for Blood Donors in New Zealand

Mona Mohammed
Published 2 weeks ago on 8 February, 2024
Who can and can't donate blood in NZ?

Understanding who can and can’t donate blood in NZ is crucial as the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) seeks to expand its donor base. With a pressing need for more blood donors, it’s important to know the eligibility criteria. The rules are clear yet selective, ensuring the safety of the blood supply.

Key takeaways

  • 40,000 new blood donors needed in New Zealand to meet demand.
  • Current restrictions exclude certain groups from donating blood.
  • Research suggests potential for more inclusive donor criteria.
  • Changes in other countries could inform New Zealand’s policies.
  • NZBS is working towards more individualised risk assessments.
In New Zealand, eligibility to donate blood hinges on various factors, including sexual activity, travel history, and health status, to maintain a safe blood supply.

who can and can’t donate blood in NZ is crucial

The NZBS has been considering changes to who can and can’t donate blood in NZ. International examples and recent studies suggest that New Zealand could increase its donor pool by revising certain criteria. This includes reevaluating the deferral period for gay and bisexual men, a move that could significantly boost donor numbers.

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Current Restrictions Reflect Past Concerns

Existing rules reflect historical concerns, such as the spread of HIV and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). However, with advancements in screening and a better understanding of these diseases, NZBS is poised to update who can and can’t donate blood in NZ, potentially lifting long-standing restrictions.

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Eligibility Criteria Details
Age 16-71 for new donors, up to 81 for existing donors
Weight Minimum 50kg, with additional criteria for those 25 or younger
Health Status Post-COVID-19, donors must wait 7 days after symptoms clear
Tattoos and Piercings Three-month stand-down period for new tattoos or piercings

Who can and can’t donate blood in NZ is a topic of ongoing discussion as NZBS aims to safely increase its donor numbers. With potential changes on the horizon, more New Zealanders may soon be able to contribute to this life-saving resource. It’s a matter of balancing safety with inclusivity, and the future looks promising for donor diversity.


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