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Donate Your Blood in Paris

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Blood banks all over the world are always in need of donors, and Paris is no different. If you’d like to brave the needles to save a life, here’s what you need to know.

In France, blood, plasma and platelet donations are voluntary, anonymous, and free (donors are not paid).

The minimum requirements to donate are:

  • You must be at least 18 and not over 70
  • You must weigh at least 50 kilos (110 pounds)
  • You must NOT have an empty stomach (make sure you eat!)
  • You need to bring a photo ID

Also, you can NOT donate blood if:

  • You have traveled to certain countries in the past 4months
  • You’re pregnant or have given birth in the past 6 months
  • You have already donated in the past 8 weeks
  • You have had a fever in the past two weeks
  • You have been to the dentist or taken antibiotics in the past week
  • You are currently under treatment for a chronic illnesses, iron deficiency, or respiratory problems
  • You have had within the past four months: any kind of surgery, a piercing, a tattoo, or sex with more than one partner
  • You have ever been treated for cancer
  • You have lived in the UK for the period of a year from 1980-1996 (mad cow risk!)
  • You have tested positive for hepatitis B or C, HIV/AIDS, or syphilis
  • You have received a blood transfusion or donated organ
  • You have ever used illegal intravenous drugs

You should know enough French to be able to answer the questionnaire and understand the instructions about where and when to make your donation.

Where to Donate Blood

You may periodically see blood drive tents on public squares (Place d’Italie, Place de la République, etc). These, like many blood collection centers in France, don’t need any prior registration (“sans rendez-vous”), just show up. Every hospital has blood, plasma and platelet collection facilities, but you usually need to make a reservation.

For more info visit Donner du Sang, and to make your reservation on-line in advance visit https://mon-rdv-dondesang.efs.sante.fr/

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  • This restriction on people who have lived in the UK for a year from 1980-1996 seems very spurious to me. For a start French farmers did have cases of BSE, though it was hushed up. And secondly, if you stayed there for 11 months and 29 days you can give blood, and yet iif you lived there the whole of the time and were vegetarian or never ate red meat you can”t. This doesn’t make sense as it only takes one intake of infected meat to be a threat: it’s not a cumulative thing. So any French person who went there during that time and had one meal could have vache folle in their blood. Incredulous when a friend told me about this, I went to my local hospital to try to give blood and the nurse told me this restriction was indeed in place. She was most apologetic and clearly thought it was nonsense too. Sounds like one xenophobic French minister made up this rule and it has never been contested.

  • Heather,Thanks for this — I’m definitely interested. I’m here as a tourist, but for an extended period. Do you know of any restrictions to giving blood if you’re here on a tourist visa?