Questions and Answers About Blood Donation
Do you have any questions about donating blood? We have collected the most frequently asked questions and our answers to them.
All about blood donation
There is certain to be a time convenient for you at a venue right in your area. The regional blood transfusion services run blood donation centres in over 60 Swiss localities. In addition, mobile teams working with Samaritan associations hold blood drives regularly in many other towns and villages.
You can find blood donation times and venues at any time and sign up to receive reminders when they are coming up.
You should take your official ID card, passport or blood donor card with you as proof of identity any time you go to donate.
The donation itself takes around 10 minutes. Afterwards, you should remain on the reclining chair for another 10 minutes. Plan approximately 45 minutes for the entire process including the pre-donation questionnaire and interview and time for a rest and refreshment after you donate. First-time donors should expect the process to take around an hour though, since the medical staff will need to go over more information with you before the donation.
Blood donors should avoid strenuous physical activities for 24 hours after donating and should be sure to drink plenty of fluids. The body will compensate for the fluid loss within 24 hours.
Blood donors are able to drive again once they have rested for 30 minutes, assuming they feel fit. There is a minimum 48-hour recovery period before piloting an aeroplane and a minimum 12-hour recovery period before driving a train or bus. Relevant occupation-specific rules must be followed.
Criteria for donor eligibility
There has been no blanket prohibition on blood donation by MSM since 1 July 2017. As of that date, the blood donation criterion of relevance is that twelve months must have elapsed since the last MSM contact. This deferral period is intended to ensure that the risk of disease transmission remains very low.
No, if you have a cold, you should wait until you have completely recovered.
We recommend waiting at least 2 weeks after flu symptoms have disappeared before donating blood.
There is an increased risk of contagion with infectious diseases like malaria or the West Nile virus in many countries. A deferral period may be imposed to minimise the risks of transmitting an infection to a blood transfusion recipient, depending on the current situation. Enquire about the current status at the blood transfusion service in your region before your next blood donation.