Time Between Blood Donations

In reading this thread I notice that Americans seem to be able to donate blood everyh 8 weeks. In the UK it is every 16 weeks (Apparently they will accept you after 12 weeks, but only once in the year). This is quite a large difference.

When I was giving blood last week I was talking to the nurse who was looking after me, and they said that it took between 12 and 16 weeks for your red blood cell count to get back up. However, if Americans are donating every 8 weeks this surely cannot be the case? Or are we Brits a nation of anaemics who take twice as long to grow red blood cells? I

You said it, not me. Perhaps it is that Brits are more conservative or perhaps they don’t get enough vitamin D. :wink:

This site says that the blood cells are replaced within 4-6 weeks, so it seems like it would be safe to donate every 8 weeks.

I give blood and they always tell me 56 days before I can donate again. So that’s roughly 8 weeks.

American Red Cross

Perhaps they suck more out of you over there. In the US, when donating whole blood, they take about a pint. The last time I donated RBCP, they took a double since they were extremely low and I’m O negative. Since it was a double, I have to wait 16 weeks before donating again.

The Red Cross here in NSW uses a minimum time between donations of 10 weeks. I’m not sure how consistent that is around Australia, because when I lived in the ACT the Red Cross there used 8 weeks.

The standard donation in NSW is 470 mL.

Just ‘roughly’. :smiley:

To answer the question. We Americans are superhumans.

I’m done making jokes now. I’ll return you to your thread.


I don’t think the national blood service takes more than a pint per donation, but I can’t find that information on their website here , although I did get definite confirmation on the at least 12 weeks preferably 16 thing.

I suppose with the current underfunding of the NHS, it could be that if they allowed donations every 8 weeks, they wouldn’t have the staff/facilities to cope with that level of throughput.

I’ll have to try and remember to ask them about the difference between U.S. and U.K. times next time im there.