Written answers

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Photo of Paul MurphyPaul Murphy (Dublin South West, Socialist Party)
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219. To ask the Minister for Health his plans for the reduction of the age of consent for blood donations to 16 or 17 years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5252/15]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Minister, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport; Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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The remit of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) is to provide a safe, reliable and robust blood service to the Irish health system. Blood, and the products derived from it, are an integral facet of healthcare delivery. A major objective of the IBTS is to ensure that it always has the necessary programmes and procedures in place to protect both the donors of blood and the recipients of blood and blood products.

The IBTS have no plans to reduce the age of consent for blood donations to 16 or 17 years due to a higher rate of adverse reactions, such as fainting, in younger donors.

Photo of Paul MurphyPaul Murphy (Dublin South West, Socialist Party)
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220. To ask the Minister for Health his plans for an information campaign on blood donation among secondary school students in order to increase awareness and support for blood donations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5253/15]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Minister, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport; Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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The IBTS has a schools information pack with leaflets, videos and CD content which it distributes to secondary schools to promote blood donation. The IBTS is currently reviewing this material with several parties, including input from Transition Year students. It is envisaged that this material will form part of a proposal to the Department of Education and Skills to include blood donation as part of the secondary school SPHE curriculum.

The IBTS also promotes awareness of blood donation through their presence at youth activities, such as the GAA and other sports clubs.

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