Donor eligibility revisited

In ongoing efforts to respond to patient needs, Canadian Blood Services is making a wide range of changes to donor eligibility and screening criteria, and as a result, thousands more people may now be eligible to donate blood each year.

These latest changes reflect current infectious disease data, align with international standards, and address various other considerations that may have previously prevented Canadians from donating.

Some of the highlights of the 2018 eligibility criteria revisions include:
  • removing the HIV deferral for people who have travelled to Cameroon and Togo;
  • shortening the deferral time for people who have had tattoos and piercings;
  • updating the restrictions for cannabis usage; and
  • reducing the waiting period for recipients of blood and blood products.

The revisions recently introduced are based on scientific evidence, and have been approved by our regulator, Health Canada. In this and related efforts, Canadian Blood Services is committed to being as minimally restrictive as possible while also safeguarding Canada’s blood supply.

We recognize that even with these latest changes not everyone will be eligible to donate blood. There are a number of other ways interested donors can support patients through Canadian Blood Services, such as through financial donations, by registering as an organ or stem cell donor, volunteering, or by encouraging others to donate.

Learn more: Recent eligibility changes