One may donate blood every 3 or 4 months. A donor helps three patients, since blood is separated into red blood cels, platelets and plasma. Rome lacks up to one thousand packs of blood each day.
- Have enough sleep the night before.
- Eat a light breakfast. Avoid eggs, fat, pork, creams, butter, milk and other dairy products.
- Bring your passport, tessera sanitara (if none yet, bring Codice Fiscale) and mask.
Exclusions from donating:
- Those who have been in Asia, Latin America and Africa (considered as malaria-endemic regions) in the past 6 months.
- There are no restrictions for travel within Europe, except for UK between 1980 and 1996, for a cumulative total of 6 months.
- Those who took antihistamines or other anti-allergy medications within the past 15 days.
- Active asthma or other allergies.
- Depending on the type of medication, some of those with high blood pressure (not all).
- History of certain diseases: hepatitis, malaria, AIDS, cancer …
- Unexplained weight loss of more than 5 kg over 6 months.
This is just a preliminary guide. The doctors will make a final screening when you donate, through a written checklist and oral interview. The donated blood (some 480 ml, or less than half a liter) will be checked for blood safety including infections; the blood exam results they will mail you in a few days does not replace the annual blood exam which looks into our general health status (cholesterol, uric acid, etc.).
Thank you very much for your life-giving generosity!