Why can't people under the age of 18 donate blood?

Social Association VdK Germany e.V.

Donating blood is still possible in old age

It is important that the donor still feels fit and healthy - anyone over the age limit will be medically examined

During the holiday season and during the Christmas holidays, blood supplies are regularly scarce. Blood donation services are desperately looking for donors because blood can only be stored for a few weeks. Older people can still donate blood. However, their health needs to be
must be examined beforehand.

June 14th is World Blood Donation Day. It's just a small spade that saves lives, but not everyone can be there: Among other things, people with cardiovascular problems, the chronically ill who depend on medication and people with an infectious disease are not allowed to donate blood. Seniors have also long been considered a risk group because they were not sure whether a blood donation would still be well tolerated in old age.

As a general rule, any healthy person between the ages of 18 and 68 can donate blood in Germany. He or she should weigh at least 50 kilograms and have a normal pulse and blood pressure. The state of health is examined with each new donation and the ability to donate is determined individually.

People who want to donate blood beyond the age of 68 are specially examined by the donation service. Because a blood donation must not endanger your own health or the health of the potential recipient. The loss of around 500 milliliters of blood primarily stresses the cardiovascular system, which is less resilient with age. "But illnesses and medication consumption are also more common from this age on", knows Ursula Münstermann, scientific advisor at the Federal Center for Health Education.

The medical guidelines also stipulate that the first blood donation should generally be made before the age of 60 to protect the donors. Anyone who is older than the first-time donor will be examined thoroughly by the doctor. "Today, according to an individual assessment by the donor doctor, if he is fit for health, an elderly patient can also donate blood", emphasizes Dr. Gabriele Röhrig-Herzog, senior physician at the St. Marien Hospital in Cologne and member of the German Society for Geriatrics (). "Studies have shown that the blood of older donors was no inferior."

Men can donate blood up to six times a year and women up to four times. There should be at least eight weeks between two blood donations. Before you let yourself be piqued, you should have drunk and eaten enough. You should have consumed alcoholic beverages at least twelve hours ago.
Those who donate for the first time bring their identity card, and later also their blood donor card. After completing a questionnaire, the medical examination takes place. The blood donation itself takes about five to ten minutes. Then rest for 20 to 30 minutes. The body quickly balances the donated blood. It is important to drink a lot afterwards. Light sport also helps to keep the circulation stable.

Autologous blood donation

For larger and plannable operations, autologous blood donation is an alternative to donating blood from other sources. The contact person is the attending physician, who individually decides whether such a blood donation makes sense. Certain health requirements must also be met for autologous blood donation, such as a stable circulation and a minimum weight.

Blood is drawn under the same conditions as any other blood donation. Likewise, as with any other donation, the components of the blood - blood plasma, red and white blood cells - are immediately separated and stored.

Since red blood cells can only be kept for about three to six weeks, the amount that can be donated is limited. Blood plasma can be stored longer because it is frozen. Depending on the planned procedure, it may be necessary to receive blood from another person in addition to one's own blood.


Tagsblood donation | Donate blood | Health | World blood donation day