A simple method is presented to estimate the radiation-absorbed dose to the blood after radioiodine administration from a single external measurement of the whole-body retention in patients suffering from differentiated thyroid cancer. The blood dose is calculated applying the formalism of the Medical International Radiation Dose Committee under the assumptions that whole-body activity decays exponentially and that 14% of the whole-body residence time can be attributed to the blood. Accuracy and applicability of the method were tested based on data from 29 assessments, 18 pre-therapeutic tracer studies, and 11 ablation therapies, with whole-body and blood-retention measurements over at least 4 days. The mean of the absolute deviations between estimates and actual blood doses was found to be 14%, if external whole-body counting was performed on day 1 or 2 after radioiodine administration. This simple formalism is: 1) applicable to pre-therapeutic dosimetry for remnant ablation or treatment of metastases in a blood dose-based treatment concept and 2) applicable to blood-dose estimates after radioiodine therapy to determine radiation exposure. When combined with a measurement of the whole body retention 1 or 2 days after radioiodine administration this single time-point method closely approximates the classic, yet much more labor intensive multi-day dosimetry that measures both blood and whole-body activities.