I’ve been told I have anaemia. Can I donate blood?

Maybe. It depends how low your iron is. 

Your body uses iron to produce haemoglobin, which is a protein that transports oxygen around your body. If you’re low in iron, your body will take longer to produce haemoglobin. Then, if your haemoglobin level is below the normal range (known as anaemia), you might experience breathlessness and dizziness.  

We need iron for our general health and wellbeing. Iron deficiencies can mean fatigue or trouble concentrating, or you might not be able to exercise to your full capacity.  

During a blood donation you give about 250mg of iron with your red cells, so it’s important your iron levels aren’t low to begin with.  

If you have been diagnosed with low iron (with or without low haemoglobin) you can’t donate until it’s been fully investigated, treated and corrected. This may include iron replacement therapy or dietary changes to increase iron intake.  

Learn more about iron health