Haemoglobin is a protein which contains iron. It is in your red blood cells and it transports oxygen around your body. Iron deficiency is the most common cause of low haemoglobin.
The Blood Service requires a ‘finger prick test’ (a test of a tiny drop of blood from your finger) before every donation to ensure you have a high enough haemoglobin level to donate.
If you’ve been diagnosed with anaemia or low haemoglobin, you won’t be able to donate until it’s been fully investigated by a doctor and appropriately treated.
Learn more about iron and haemoglobin in Why iron and haemoglobin are important
You can also try these recipes for meals high in iron.