By Katy Thornton
“Using a donor’s individual behaviours to determine if that person is eligible to give blood makes the process fairer and more inclusive.”
As of today, 28th November, the Irish Blood Transfusion Service will assess each potential donor individually instead of excluding whole groups. The hope is for blood donations to be more inclusive, and that this change will increase the amount of eligible donors in Ireland.
When you click into the Give Blood website now, this is the message you are met with:
“From Monday 28 November, the IBTS has introduced a system of assessing each donor’s eligibility to donate on a person-by-person basis in relation to sexual history and risk, rather than applying risks associated with specific populations which have previously excluded some potential donors. This system is called Individual Donor Risk Assessment and is similar to the system that was introduced in the UK Blood Services in 2021.
“Using a donor’s individual behaviours to determine if that person is eligible to give blood makes the process fairer and more inclusive, while maintaining the safety of the blood supply. Every donor will be asked the same questions about their sexual activity, regardless of the donor’s gender or sexual orientation, or those of his/her partner.”
When checking for eligibility, all donors will be asked about the same questions about sexual history and the “type of sexual intercourse engaged in” to determine risk.
Ireland has 75,000 blood donors currently, but there needs to be more to meet demand. If you’re interested in donating blood or want to check your eligibility, you can do so HERE.