Cases of Exclusion

Temporary exclusion

We make donor and recipient safety equal priorities. This means that even though donations of whole blood, plasma, platelets or packed red cells are always necessary, some people can be temporarily excluded from the donation process for various reasons.

The following list of reasons for temporary exclusion is not exhaustive.
  • Body temperature above 37.5 °C
  • Blood pressure over 180/100 mmHg
  • Hemoglobin level too low (< 12.5 g/dl for women, < 13 g/dl for men)
  • Recent vaccination
  • Recent major surgery
  • Pregnancy
  • Travel to a country where malaria is prevalent
  • If you are taking certain medications

People who are temporarily excluded from donating blood are invited to return after the prescribed waiting period, depending on their condition.

Permanent exclusion

In order to protect both the donor and the patient-recipient in equal measure, some people are excluded from making donations on a permanent basis.

The following situations constitute justification for permanent exclusion from making donations. (This list is not exclusive.)
  • Certain kinds of hepatitis (B or C, for example)
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Diabetes controlled by insulin
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Ischemic heart failure
  • Coronary bypass
  • Multiple sclerosis
Potential donors are excluded on a permanent basis for the following reasons :
  • If they are taking certain medications.
  • People who have spent three months or more in the United Kingdom between January 1, 1980 and December 31, 1996 inclusively. UK includes : England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.
  • People who have spent three months or more in France between January 1, 1980 and December 31, 1996 inclusively.
  • People who have spent five years or more in Western Europe since January 1, 1980. Western Europe includes: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom and Switzerland. Note that the time spent in the United Kingdom and France since January 1, 1997 must not be included in the cumulative period.
  • People who have spent six months or more in Saudi Arabia between January 1, 1980 and December 31, 1996 inclusively.
  • People having received a blood transfusion (blood, red cells, platelets or plasma) in the Western Europe since January 1, 1980.

For more information on variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD).

Qualification at the time of collection

The evaluation of a potential donor’s eligibility to give blood, part of Héma-Québec’s responsibility to ensure the safety of its products, is based on a health questionnaire, checking the donor’s vital signs and verifying the hemoglobin level of all individuals who arrive at a blood drive or a GLOBULE Blood Donor Centre.

Health questionnaire
In order to ensure donor and patient safety, it is important to be aware of some details concerning the donor’s state of health and whether the donor has been involved in activities that carry a risk of blood contamination.

For this reason, everyone who wishes to make a blood donation must complete a Record of Donation (PDF) about their state of health so we can ensure that they meet Héma-Québec’s qualification criteria.

Anyone who does not meet these criteria cannot give blood.

Vital signs
An Héma-Québec employee checks the donor’s vital signs to ensure they fall within an acceptable range: blood pressure, pulse, temperature.

The employee also examines the donor’s arms to ensure that there are no signs of intravenous drug use.

Anyone whose vital signs do not fall within an acceptable range cannot give blood.

Hemoglobin test
The hemoglobin test is administered to ensure that the red blood cells in your blood contain sufficient levels of an iron-rich protein called hemoglobin.

To check your hemoglobin level, an Héma-Québec employee will take a drop of blood by pricking the end of your finger.

If your hemoglobin level is too low, the employee will inform you.

A hemoglobin level that is too low means that giving blood could cause you discomfort since your body could take more time to regenerate the 450 ml of blood you would donate. This situation could, however, only be temporary, and you could be able to give blood again in 56 days. It is important to note that even if your hemoglobin level is low on the day of the clinic, you can still be in excellent health.