Who can donate?

This list is meant to provide information (as detailed as possible) to assist you in determining your eligibility for blood donation prior to visiting a donor center or a blood drive. It is not a complete listing of eligibility criteria and many of the following may be acceptable depending on the individual and specific variables. In addition, eligibility criteria may be modified from time to time based on FDA regulation changes and industry-accepted standards.

  1. Age:16 years or older (donors under 18 years of age must have written parental consent). Parental Consent Form
  2. Donation Interval:Minimum of eight weeks between whole blood donations.
  3. Blood Pressure:Lower than 180/100 mmHg.
  4. Heart Rate (pulse):Between 50 and 100 beats per minute.
  5. Body Temperature:Lower than 99.5°F.
  6. Blood Count:Hemoglobin greater than 12.5 g/dl.
  7. Drug Therapy:Use of many or most medications is acceptable, whether obtained "over the counter" or by prescription from your personal physician. Use of the following medications causes temporary (T) or permanent (P) disqualification:
    • Aspirin (and other NSAID's): T - Acceptable 48 hours after last dose. (Applies to platelet donors only).
    • Proscar (Finasteride): T - Acceptable 1 month after last dose.
    • Avodart (dutasteride): T - Acceptable 6 months after last dose.
    • Propecia (Finasteride): T - Acceptable 1 month after last dose.
    • Accutane (Amnesteem, Claravis, Sotret & Isotretinoin): T - Acceptable 1 month after last dose.
    • Hepatitis B Immune Globulin (HBIG): T - Acceptable 12 months after last injection.
    • Soriatane (Acitretin): T - Acceptable 3 years after last dose.
    • Growth Hormone from Human Pituitary Glands: P - Permanent disqualification
    • Insulin from Cows (Bovine or Beef Insulin): P - Permanent disqualification
    • Tegison (Etretinate): P - Permanent disqualification.
  8. Medical History-Acceptable
    • Many medical conditions (as long as well controlled on current medication/therapy, with no significant current or ongoing symptoms, and feeling well the day of donation): Diabetes, Allergies, Asthma, Osteoarthritis, Ulcer disease, Chronic Bronchitis, Fibromyalgia, Hypertension, Parkinson's Disease, Seizure Disorder (no seizures in past 3 months), Benign (not cancerous) tumors, and many others.
    • Full recovery after heart attack or stroke and no requirement for medication (e.g. Nitroglycerin) to control chest pain.
    • Past history of cancer, as long as successful therapy has been completed over five years ago, there is no current therapy, there has been no recurrence, and there are no recommended restrictions/limitations in activity. NOTE: The above restrictions do not apply for the common skin cancers (Basal Cell CA and Squamous Cell CA), or for "in situ" cancers (your specific diagnosis reveals whether this applies to you, for example carcinoma-in-situ of the cervix.)
    • Full recovery after successful surgical procedures, including cardiac surgery or angioplasty.
  9. Medical History - Not Acceptable: The following activities or medical conditions, if they apply to you, will cause you to be ineligible for blood donation, either (T) temporarily or (P) permanently (In accordance with established industry standards and strict federal government guidelines).
    • Travel or residence outside the U.S.: T or P, depending on location and length of stay.
    • Recent Vaccination: T, 0 to 4 weeks depending on vaccine.
    • History of Cancer in past 5 years (Exceptions apply, see "Medical History Acceptable"): T
    • History of Leukemia, Lymphoma, myeloma: P
    • Tattoo or body piercing in the past year: T
    • Blood transfusion in the past year: T
    • Accidental blood exposure (i.e. needle stick) in the past year: T
    • Active infection and or current antibiotics therapy: T
    • Therapy/treatment for syphilis or gonorrhea in the past year: T
    • Recent history of seizures: T
    • Current pregnancy: T
    • Current/ongoing/unstable heart disease requiring ongoing medical treatment: T/P, depending on severity.
    • Medical history of viral hepatitis: P, (clinical hepatitis or jaundice prior to age 11 - Acceptable)
    • Medical history of HIV infection or AIDS, or those determined to be at high risk for exposure to HIV: P
    • History of injection (IV - intravenous) drug use not prescribed by M.D.: P
    • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS) or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME): P