With one blood donation you can save up to 4 human lives

There are approximately 100 000 blood donors missing in the Czech Republic. At the same time, on average, during their lifespan, each individual needs a transfusion 5 times and requires medicine made of blood up to 14 times. For more complicated surgeries, up to 10 units of 300 ml of blood is needed.

Become a voluntary blood donor and help save human lives.

I'd like to donate blood More about donating

Motivation

Why donate blood?

Because of increasingly difficult surgeries the usage of blood is rising. The number of voluntary donors is decreasing over the long term and an increasing number of people prefer to sell their blood to pharmaceutical companies. Moreover, human blood is one of the few things we cannot make artificially.

As a voluntary blood donor you will receive:

  • A good feeling – you’re helping to save human lives
  • Paid work leave on the day of collection
  • A lowered corporate tax base by 3000 CZK/ collection
  • Regular health check-ups
  • Distinction from Czech Red Cross
  • Vitamins from your health insurance company
  • Refreshment after the collection
  • Many other benefits, find out more about benefits at your health insurance company

Legislative benefits for blood donors

  • According to the Labour Code, a blood donor has the right to paid work leave on the day of collection. In case the collection was not completed, the donor can only take leave for the time they were absent from work.
  • Lowering corporate tax base by 3000 CZK/collection. You can attach the certificate you receive after every collection or a certificate for all your collections to your tax returns. The summary certificate can be gained on the transfusion ward at the end of the year.

Rewards from Health Insurance companies

Health Insurance companies provide different benefits to blood donors, e.g. vitamins, financial contributions, travel insurance with reduced price, contributions for rehabilitation stays etc.

You can find a complete list of benefits on your Health Insurance company’s website.

Blood donation

Who can donate blood?

Anyone, who meets these criteria can become a blood donor:

  • Aged between 18–65 years
  • Minimum weight of 50 kg
  • In good health condition
  • Is not recorded in the National registry of rejected donors
  • Is not HIV positive and is not in a regular contact with a HIV positive person (such as family member or sexual partner)
  • Has not suffered Hepatitis B or C and is not in close contact with a person suffering from infectious Hepatitis (such as family member, co-worker, sexual partner) 
  • Is not a drug user
  • Is not an alcoholic 
  • Does not suffer from
    • cardiovascular disease (such as heart attack, heart defects, high blood pressure)
    • chronic stomach ulcers or any pancreatic (Diabetes mellitus etc.), intestinal, liver or gall bladder disease 
    • any metabolic disease (e.g., Gout) 
    • diseases of the nervous system (e.g., Epilepsy, Multiple sclerosis) 
    • blood diseases (e.g., Thrombosis, Embolism) 
    • chronic kidney, urinary or digestive tract disease
    • asthma or heavy allergies 
    • serious respiratory tract disease (e.g., COPD, chronic Bronchitis)
    • serious skin disease (e.g., Psoriasis, Shingles, Genital Herpes)
    • autoimmune diseases 
    • rheumatic diseases, bone or joint diseases
  • Has not had cancer
  • Has not undergone transplantation of organs, dura mater or cornea
  • Has not undergone a neurosurgical intervention of brain
  • Has not suffered from Malaria or any other tropical disease (Babesiosis, Chagas disease, Leishmaniasis, Q fever, West Nile virus etc.)
  • Has not suffered from tuberculosis
  • Did not live in the United Kingdom or France for more than 6 months within the period of 1980–1996 (Variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease) 
  • Did not receive a blood or blood component transfusion abroad, especially in the United Kingdom and France within the period of 1980–1996

Do you have a question? Are you not sure if you are an eligible donor? Transfusion ward staff will gladly answer all your questions.

In what case is donation restricted?

  • A week after Herpes simplex is healed
  • Women during menstruation
  • At least 14 days after a mild infection (cold, cough)
  • 4 days after finishing a course of antibiotics
  • 1 month after
    • any stay outside of Europe
    • having a tick
    • diarrhoeal disease
  • 6 months after
    • recovering from Lyme disease
    • endoscopy
    • receiving a blood transfusion
    • getting a tattoo or piercing
    • a stay at an area with Malarial prevalence
    • a stay at a correctional facility
  • 1 year after recovering from Hepatitis type A or Infectious Mononucleosis 
  • People with allergies can only donate blood if their allergy is light, without acute problems or treatment
  • People with high blood pressure can only donate blood if they use one medication (monotherapy) and their blood pressure is within normal bounds
  • Women can only donate blood at least 9 months after giving birth and at least 6 months after ending breast-feeding
  • While using medication, including over-the-counter drugs (excluding hormonal contraception and vitamins)

Which rules should I follow before giving blood?

  • The day before donating blood, drink plenty of non-sweetened drinks (tea, coffee, juice, mineral water).
  • Do not eat heavy meals, with a high fat content, before donating blood. This includes the evening before and the morning of the donation day.
  • Do not drink alcoholic drinks 14 hours before donating blood.
  • Do not go for the blood donation on an empty stomach. Have a light breakfast and drink enough liquids prior to donating.
  • Do not smoke 6–12 hours before the donation.

What documentation do I need to bring, to give blood?

  • Your ID
  • Health insurance card
  • Blood donor identification (for repeat donors)

How does blood collection work?

  • Changing room – you can leave your stuff here and you will be given a donor form
  • Register – a nurse will take down your information
  • Laboratory – a blood sample will be taken for a pre-collection screening
  • Examination room – a doctor will read through your completed donor form and evaluate your health
  • Refreshments before the collection – you will be given a pastry and a drink
  • The blood collection itself
  • Refreshments after the collection – you will be given a drink and a small, sweet snack 
  • Register – you will be given a written acknowledgement for your job, tax deduction certification; and a meal voucher 
  • Changing room – you get all your stuff and can leave

How much time will it take?

Time spent at the transfusion ward during the collection of blood is usually 50–100 minutes.

How much blood is collected?

Usually, 450 ml of blood is collected in one collection, and this takes about 5–10 minutes. Your body will regenerate the lost blood within the space of a few days.

Where can I donate blood?

You can donate blood in almost every regional city. In the overview of facilities offering transfusion services (in Czech), you will find a list of blood collection centres so you can easily look up the facility closest to you. Transfusion wards across hospitals do not share a registry of blood donors, therefore it is important that the donor returns to the same transfusion ward.

How often can I give blood?

Women can donate blood 3 times a year, while men can donate blood 4 times a year. The minimal time period between individual collections is 10 weeks.

Which check-ups should I expect?

As part of the pre-collection screening, a 5-minute laboratory complete blood count will be done. First-time donors will also have to have their urine screened. Before the blood collection, doctor will measure your blood pressure, pulse, evaluate your health condition and eligibility to donate blood.

After the blood collection, another small screening is done. This screening detects the blood type, the Rh factor, and irregular antibodies. The blood is also tested for HIV, Hepatitis B, C and Syphilis. In the case of a deviation in any of these screenings, the donor is informed and given instructions for further actions.

Is blood donation safe?

By giving blood you are not exposed to any risk of infection. All the material (needles, syringes, collection kits and test tubes) is intended for one use only. The area of skin where the needle penetrates is always disinfected thoroughly, and transfusion ward staff only work while wearing gloves, abiding by strict hygiene measures. Safe storage and disposal of biological waste is also ensured.

Which medical complications can occur after blood collection?

If adequate pressure is not applied to the puncture area for the required amount of time, a hematoma (bruise) can occur. Some donors can feel faint, nauseated, and can collapse after the collection. This can be prevented by drinking enough liquid and having a light breakfast before the blood collection. The transfusion ward staff are trained for these scenarios and will take action if needed. After the blood collection, the donor should not perform any activities requiring heightened alertness and effort in the next at least 12 hours.

FAQs

I hear that there are not enough blood donors. I want to donate blood, I was refused. How come?

Demand for blood donors is still quite large, in general. Unfortunately, sometimes individuals can be refused at a transfusion ward. There are a few factors in play, such as your blood type and the needs of individual transfusion wards. Blood is a valuable liquid and medical staff are doing everything to make the collection and distribution most effective, in order to prevent wastage.

If you have been refused, do not get disheartened and try another time or a different transfusion ward. We recommend following blood barometers at transfusion wards’ websites. There you can also find which blood type is needed so that you can easily plan your visit to the transfusion ward.

What is the difference between donating blood at a transfusion ward and a commercial blood collection centre?

Transfusion wards are usually connected to particular healthcare establishments, where the collected blood (or components of blood) is used for production of medicinal products for individual patients. The blood donated in transfusion wards does not cross the border of Czech Republic and helps patients in our hospitals. Transfusion wards do not offer any financial compensation for blood donation.

On the other hand, in commercial blood collection centres, the donors are given a financial compensation of several hundred CZK. However, plasma collected in these centres does not help our patients in need. Vast majority of the plasma is used outside of the Czech Republic within the pharmaceutical industry.

The ProDarce.cz (ForDonors.cz) project supports the idea of free blood and blood component donorship at transfusion wards. We do not agree with financial compensation or significant benefits which, for donors, could be the main motivation behind donating blood. The principle of donorship is primarily solidarity and selfless help to others. Only through this can we ensure the safety of both blood donors and recipients.

I heard that donating blood can cause Leukaemia or cancer. Is that true?

No connection between blood collection and Leukaemia or cancer has been proven. The impact of blood collection on health has been studied repeatedly in the long term and no adverse effects (presuming the interval between collections is kept) have been proven. Quite the opposite is true; part of our population (especially men) tends to accumulate iron, which can lead to tissue damage. Collection of red blood cells has a positive effect on health of these people.

How long after my return from abroad can I donate blood?

After returning from certain countries, it is necessary to wait before giving blood. The period for which blood donation is restricted after your return is dependent upon the risk of infectious diseases in the particular country. Especially in connection with the occurrence of West Nile Virus (WNV). In recent years, there have been updates to the list of countries and areas which temporarily eliminate a traveller from being eligible for blood donation.

This information is updated during the year and the terms of different transfusion wards can differ slightly. Therefore, we recommend following the webpage of your transfusion ward, where you can find up to date information. General recommendations regarding the risk of WNV can be found on the website of Společnost pro transfúzní lékařství (Transfusion Medicine Association).

Why can’t I eat fatty meals before the collection?

Fatty food can affect the composition of blood to the point where it can no longer be used for medicinal purposes. Plasma gains a milky colour, which is a sign it contains lipid particles. Fatty foods include butter, cream, meat soups, fried foods, chocolate and nuts. Please refrain from consuming these foods the evening before and the morning of the blood collection.

Can foreigners donate blood in the Czech Republic?

Foreigners, who meet these conditions, can give blood:

  • Are able to communicate in Czech
  • Have been living in the Czech Republic for longer than a year
  • Have health insurance valid in the Czech Republic, which is met by all standard health insurances taken out in any EU country

Can I drive a car after a blood donation?

It is possible to drive a car after a blood donation, however, at least 15 minutes after the donation itself and only if you feel able. On the day of blood donation, it is forbidden to drive a public transport vehicle.

Can I donate blood if I am an occasional user of marijuana?

In general, it is possible to donate blood, however, some transfusion wards exclude marijuana users from the eligible donors list. Collected blood containing THC could harm the patient. Since THC is metabolized very slowly, it is only possible to donate blood after 14 days of THC abstinence.

Can I donate blood if I have allergies?

Lighter forms of allergy are not an obstacle for blood donation. You can donate blood when you are not suffering from allergy symptoms. If you suffer from severe forms of allergy, you are not eligible for blood donation. Every person suffering from allergy should consult their allergologist about donating blood.

Can I donate blood if I am using hormonal contraception?

Yes, you can. Hormonal contraception is not an obstacle for blood donation.

Can I donate blood if I am using antidepressants?

Antidepressants are metabolized very slowly. During the period of using antidepressants do not donate blood or blood components. You can donate blood 4 weeks after discontinuing the use of antidepressants. However, a transfusion ward doctor will always evaluate the situation. For this reason, we recommend calling the transfusion ward beforehand and consulting your suitability as a donor.

Can I donate blood if I have Psoriasis?

It depends on the size and placement of Psoriasis. In case of extensive Psoriasis or an occurrence in the area of the puncture, blood donation is not possible. Some medication containing psoralens also make blood donorship impossible permanently.

Can I donate blood if I suffer from Diabetes?

If you are not being treated by insulin, you can donate blood.

Can I donate blood if I suffer from Coeliac disease?

Unfortunately, Coeliac disease is a reason for permanent elimination from blood donorship.

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