A deferral is a waiting period applied when a donor does not qualify to donate within the specified time period due to various health related issues.Donors may be deferred for a variety of reasons, including activities or illnesses. The reasons for deferral, as well as the time periods involved, are laid out below.

Studying Exams

High School Pupils:
New Donors & Repeat donors – deferred for 24hrs prior to exam.
Tertiary Institutions:
New or repeat donors – deferred for 24hrs prior to exam.

Abortion /Miscarriage

If less than 12 weeks pregnant: – Deferral is 1 month
If less than 12 weeks pregnant +D&C: – Deferral is 2 months
If > 12 weeks of pregnancy:- Deferral is 3 months


Defer until sober but if on treatment (Antabuse), deferral is 2 weeks after treatment course.


Athletes who are in regular training may donate provided they reduce their level of training for 1/52 after donating.
Any runner or cyclist who has entered a major long distance race e.g. Comrades/ Two Oceans/ Argus must not donate for 4 weeks before the race.
Runners can donate 7 days & cyclists 3 days after the race, providing there has been not been any distress or dehydration.
If athletes refuse to comply with 4 weeks pre-donation deferral they must sign an indemnity form. Send form to Manager Medical Services for filing.
Recreational Divers– using oxygen: 72 hours before and after.
Commercial divers – should not donate (consult MD).
Pilots – deferred flying for 72 hours, after donation, from piloting a plane/helicopter/micro-light/glider.

Acupuncture (Dry needling)

If by clinician or registered professional and with disposable: – Deferral is 4 months
Needles; If non-professional acupuncturist Deferral is 1 year


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