Help save lives by donating blood under the new donor criteria



Donating blood is a beautiful thing because of the capacity to help someone in need. Recently the Canadian Blood Services has made several changes to its donor criteria, which allows more Canadians to be eligible donors. “About 3,000 people who try to donate blood each year but cannot will now be eligible to donate due to these changes,” explains Dr. Mindy Goldman, the medical director of donor and clinical services with Canadian Blood Services. 


The criteria, which is determined based on new scientific information takes into account factors such as geographic and age restrictions. Here are some of the most notable changes:

  1. Donors over the age of 71 years don’t need a physician to assess them before doing so.
  2.  As long as you have been cancer free for five years, you’re eligible to donate. This excludes hematological cancers such as lymphomas, leukemia or melanoma for obvious reasons. 
  3.  Geographic exclusions such as those relating to people living in Western Europe during mad cow disease and the exclusion of donors from African countries because of improved HIV testing protocols in these places have been eliminated. 
  4.   Men who have sex with other men only need to defer one year for donating blood as opposed to the original five-year waiting time.
  5.  If you take medication regularly, CBS has now made a list of acceptable medications if you wish to donate which includes those for cholesterol, blood pressure and depression.

Overall, these changes reflect a more inclusive criteria and the CBS’s dedication to providing safe blood donations to those who need it while always keeping in mind the latest health and medical research.  Learn more about how you can  give life to others through donating your own blood by visiting Canadian Blood Services now!