Brit expats in Spain urged to donate blood

Published:  23 Nov at 6 PM
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Whilst still living in the UK many British expats made it their duty to donate blood on a regular basis, but don't now they're in Spain.

In the UK, voluntary blog donations have been part of life for concerned citizens for decades, especially for those with rarer blood types. Giving blood is easy, fast and truly does save lives, but how many British expats in Spain think to continue their personal generosity once they’ve settled in? Just like the UK, Spain has a blood donation protocol as part of its Public National Health Service and, again just like the UK, has problems getting enough donated blood to cope with the demand in its hospitals by nationals, expatriates and the huge number of tourists who arrive every year.

Blood compounds and services across Spain are provided by 17 regional blood transfusion centres, all of which regularly appeal for donors. Restrictions do apply, as in the UK, with the main one refusing donations from anyone who lived for one year or more in the UK between 1980 and 1996. The given reason for this exclusion is to prevent the risk of transference of the ‘mad cow disease’ virus. Each individual region has its own rules concerning blood donation, and can be checked online of via the helpline at 935-573-5000. Once your eligibility has been confirmed, blood can be donated either at your nearest Spanish Red Cross centre, at a local hospital or in one of the mobile units seen in most major cities.

A donor card isn’t needed, but on your first visit you’ll need to present your driving license, passport, NIE or DNI, after which you’ll be given a donor card once you’re registered in the blood bank. If you’ve recently had a tattoo, you’ll be eligible to donate after four months, minor surgery requires a wait of at least a full week and major surgery means you’ll not be able to donate until four months have passed. Some 6,200 blood transfusions are given to patients in Spanish every day, with half needed during or just after surgery or to patients fighting cancer. Registered donors in Spain number around two million, but almost four million are needed.
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