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Minimum age of blood donation increasing to 18 years

The minimum age for whole blood donation in Australia is currently 16 years. However, we’re now in the process of transitioning to a minimum age of 18 years. The new policy will come into effect on 14 January 2018 and will apply to both new and existing donors. 

While donors aged 16 and 17 remain eligible to donate before the policy comes into effect, we recommend they postpone any further donations until after they turn 18. 

The policy change will not impact donors who need to have blood taken for their own treatment (therapeutic venesection).

Please note that mobile donor centres will no longer be visiting schools.

Why is this happening?

Looking after the health and wellbeing of our donors is a priority that underpins the decisions we make as an organisation.

In 2014 the Blood Service increased the donation interval from 12 weeks to one year for donors aged 16 and 17 years. This was based on Blood Service research that indicated younger donors have lower iron stores. This change allowed younger donors more time to replace their iron after donation. 

A recent international study has confirmed our earlier findings and has provided us with sufficient evidence to suggest a further policy change is appropriate.

The new policy will ensure that younger donors aren’t losing iron through blood donation at a critical time in their growth and development.

The Blood Service is confident that this change can be made without impacting our ability to secure Australia’s blood supply.

Information for WA/QLD donors

If you donate in WA or QLD, parental consent is required for you to donate. To be eligible to donate before 14 January 2018, your parent/guardian must complete both the parental consent form and supplement to parental consent form. 

For more information on what this change means for you please take a look at our age change FAQs

Take a look at our media release

Take a look at our fact sheet