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( Updated at 11/05/2023 )
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When am I considered a "blood donor"?

A blood donor is any person who, after being medically accepted, benevolently and voluntarily donates part of their blood for therapeutic purposes.

The blood donor is assigned a National Blood Donor Card after the first effective blood donation has been made. This card is not issued at the request of the donor, but of the blood collection department.

Do I have to register in advance to donate blood?

The person applying for blood donation will have to go to a blood collection site with a valid identification document with photo (Identity Card/Citizen Card, etc.), the registration will be made at the time.

Where can I go?

You must go to a Collection Session or Blood Collection Service. You can find these places at

How can I apply for blood donation?

At the collection sites, you must present an identification document with photo (Identity Card/Citizen Card, passport, resident card or driving license) and fill out a questionnaire.

You will then be assessed by a qualified healthcare professional who will determine your eligibility for blood donation through a clinical assessment and physical examination (such as determining your weight, height, haemoglobin and blood pressure).

Is there a clinical evaluation of the donor?

Yes. The donor candidate is evaluated by a qualified healthcare professional who determines their eligibility for blood donation through a clinical evaluation and physical examination (such as determination of their weight, height, hemoglobin and blood pressure).

The assessment of blood donation candidates is based on the minimum eligibility criteria, and on the individual assessment of the risk related to the behaviour of the blood donor, with a view to ensuring the safety of recipients.

Can I be refused as a blood donor?

Yes. A person who is a candidate for blood donation may be suspended for a variety of reasons. That is why informed consent for donation is so important, as it complements the assessment of the eligibility criteria that ensure the safety of the donor and recipient, making transfusion a safe process.

What are my rights as a blood donor?

The person who gives blood has the right to:

  • safeguarding their physical and mental integrity
  • information on all relevant aspects related to blood donation
  • the confidentiality of data; public recognition
  • not to be discriminated against
  • the exemption of user fees for access to the provision of health care by the National Health Service, under the terms of the legislation in force
  • to the donor's insurance
  • free access to parking in National Health Service establishments at the time of blood donation and to be absent from their professional activities for the period of time necessary for blood donation

Under what circumstances will I be exempt from paying user fees in the National Health Service?

The blood donor is eligible for the exemption from the payment of user fees in the National Health Service, under the terms of the legislation in force, if:

  • have made more than 30 gifts in your lifetime
  • you have 2 donations in the last 12 months at the date the exemption question arises
  • you have a minimum of 10 donations and you are temporarily or permanently prevented from donating blood for medical reasons

How can I identify myself as a blood donor?

The National Blood Donor Card identifies the blood donor and contains the records of donations made in the National Donor Card database.

It is considered a suitable document to prove the condition of a blood donor, namely, for the purposes of exemption from user fees in access to the provision of health care by the National Health Service, under the terms of the legislation in force.

The request for the issuance of the card is the responsibility of the service that performs the collection, and IPST,IP is responsible for its processing, issuance and sending to the donor.

I lost/stole my National Blood Donor Card. How can I request a duplicate?

The person should send an email to the address indicating their full name, date of birth, health user number and their updated address.

How is the public recognition of the blood donor done?

The creation of the medals and diploma of blood donor are part of the public recognition of blood donors, established by Law No. 37/2012 (Blood Donor Statute) and regulated by Ordinance No. 124-A/2013; and thus reward their inherent dedication to blood donation, having the following degrees:

  • Diploma of 10 donations – Awarded by the President of the Board of Directors of IPST,IP to donors who have completed 10 donations
  • Medal – Awarded by the Minister of Health to donors who have completed 20 donations
  • Silver Medal – Awarded by the Minister of Health to donors who have completed 40 donations
  • Gold Medal – Awarded by the Minister of Health to donors who have completed 60 donations
  • Gold medal (100 donations) – Awarded by the Minister of Health to donors who have completed 100 donations

The IPST, IP is responsible for the processing and issuance of the awards, and the request is made by the service responsible for the collection or by the blood donor organizations.

The medals are accompanied by a certificate. As a rule, the awards are sent to the entity that requested them, which then proceeds to deliver them.

The issuance and processing of awards involves several entities, so it is a somewhat lengthy process.

Is it safe to give blood in Portugal?

Yes. Many of the rules implemented in Portugal about who can donate blood are a requirement of European law. However, there are a number of committees of experts in the field that regularly review the criteria for admission to the donation. Policies that relate specifically to the safety of blood, tissues, organs and cells are recommended to the Government by IPST, IP, which advised by expert committees, ensure that the policies applied in all blood and transplant services are based on the best available scientific evidence.

Can I get any diseases while giving blood?

Nope. There is no possibility of contracting diseases through blood donation, as all the material used is sterilized, disposable and used only once. All healthcare professionals comply with the requirements of good practice.

Will I feel weakened after the gift?

You will feel good after the blood donation, as long as the pre- and post-donation care is followed:

  • Must take breakfast or snack
  • Reinforce fluid intake before blood donation
  • You should not eat a large meal prior to blood donation

At the end of the blood donation, you should reinforce your fluid intake again and have a light meal.

When can I go back to work?

You will be able to return to your work after the time necessary for the blood donation to take place. In each donation, the qualified health professional may determine the extension of the rest period until the resumption of normal activity, when the clinical situation so requires, and provided that it is duly justified.

How can I overcome my fear of giving blood?

Blood donation is a safe, almost painless process with no contraindications for a healthy adult. Some people are afraid to make their first donation for fear of an adverse reaction.

Several factors minimize this likelihood:

  • Ingestion prior to fluid donation (half a liter of water)
  • the application of muscle tension (contraction and relaxation of some muscles) during harvesting

Is the sale of blood allowed?

No. The sale or commercialization of blood is prohibited by law. However, the collection, processing and laboratory tests carried out so that it can be transfused involve costs that public health institutions bear, in the case of private health institutions these costs are borne by the client.

In the country where I am emigrating, I donate blood regularly. When I come to Portugal on holiday, can I also donate?

You can apply for blood donation as long as you meet the eligibility requirements for donation.

In principle, being an emigrant in a country with no additional restrictions on blood donation, we will be pleased in Portugal if you continue to apply as a blood donor on a regular basis.

I don't have a lot of free time. How long will it take me to donate blood?

The entire donation process, starting with registration, through clinical screening, collection and ending with the meal, takes an average of approximately 30 minutes. If you think for a moment about the good you do with your blood donation, you will quickly conclude that lack of time is not a good reason.

Should I value all the information that circulates about the donation?

Nope. Much of this information is myths, fears, or apprehensions that are passed on by people who in most cases have never given blood. Most people are afraid to donate blood when they donate for the first time.

It will be with experience and with the observation of the ease and relaxation of people who regularly go to give blood that this fear decreases, becoming a natural and simple act. If in doubt, consult the website of the IPST.



Blood Donor Statute;

Ordinance approving the statute of the blood donor;

Regional Decree-Law approving the legal regime of blood data in the Regional Health System;

Normative Circular that determines the criterion for exemption from user fees for blood donors

Selection of Candidates for Blood Donation Based on the Evaluation of

Individual Risk


Source: Portuguese Institute of Blood and Transplantation (IPST)

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