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Recommendations & Requirements

Deciding to give blood can be more difficult than the actual process of donating it.

While it's normal to feel anxious about a new experience, you can rest assured giving blood is safe. Since the needle is sterile and used only once, it is impossible to contract any disease by donating blood.

Please eat a good meal before donating.

The donation process involves four steps and takes about 30 minutes.

In the 24 hours after you donate, your blood donation is tested, typed and separated into various components to be safely transfused into a maximum of three patients.

Basic Requirements for Blood Donation

  • You are between the ages of 17 and 74; 16 with a signed parental consent form.
  • You are in good health.
  • You weigh at least 110 pounds if you are 21+ years old. If you are between the ages of 16-20, you must meet relative height and weight requirements.

Donation Frequency

  • You may donate platelets as often as every 28 days.
  • You may donate blood as often as every 56 days.

Blood donation restrictions

You may or may not be able to donate based on medications, medical conditions, immunizations and other restrictions.

All donor requirements are in place to ensure the safety of those who receive our life-giving blood supply.

You may donate even if you take any of the following medications:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol).
  • Allergy medication.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Advil, Ibuprofen, Motrin and Naprosyn.
  • Birth control pills.
  • Depression medication.
  • Diet pills.
  • Female hormone pills.
  • Thyroid medication (assuming your condition is stable).

You must wait a certain amount of time to donate if you take any of the following medications including:

  • Accutane. Wait four weeks after your last dose.
  • Antibiotics. Wait seven days after infection. Some antibiotics for acne are okay.
  • Aspirin. You can donate whole blood, but you cannot donate platelets for 36 hours.
  • Oral or insulin diabetes medication: You can donate if your condition is stable.
  • Propecia. Wait four weeks after your last dose.
  • Proscar. Wait four weeks after your last dose.
  • Soriatane (Acitretin): Wait three years after your last dose.

You cannot donate if you take:

  • Tegison.
  • Diabetes medication of injected bovine (beef) insulin since 1980.

View full list of medication guidelines for blood donation. 

You may donate even if you have conditions including:

  • Allergies (no infection).
  • Asthma (no symptoms).
  • Cold sore, fever blister or canker sore.
  • Diabetes (if stable condition).
  • Genital herpes (after lesions clear).
  • Heart attack (one year after and no current symptoms or heart medication other than aspirin).
  • Heart surgery (one year after coronary artery bypass graft surgery or angioplasty, with no current symptoms or heart medication other than aspirin).
  • Hemochromatosis.
  • Major/minor surgery (after healed and released from doctor's care).
  • Pregnancy (six weeks after delivery).
  • Stroke (one year after, if no physical restrictions and no medications).
  • Chlamydia, genital warts (if treated).
  • Gonorrhea, syphilis and other venereal diseases (one year after healed).

You cannot donate if you have conditions including:

  • AIDS, or are at risk for AIDS.
  • Blood disorders or bleeding tendencies.
  • Brain or spinal surgery that required a transplant of brain covering (dura mater).
  • Cancer. (People with basal cell or squamous cell skin cancers or keratosis can donate if the lesions have been removed and skin has healed.)
  • Colds, fever, flu, sore throat, cough, respiratory infection or headache.
  • Hepatitis or undiagnosed jaundice after age 10.
  • Melanoma (must wait five years and obtain pathology approval).
  • Positive hepatitis test.

Don't donate blood if you have ever tested positive for HIV or if:

  • You have ever injected yourself with drugs not prescribed by a physician.
  • You are a man and have had sexual contact with another man in the past three months.
  • You have hemophilia or a blood clotting disorder and received clotting factor concentrates.

If you have recently received a vaccination, you must wait a certain amount of time before donating blood again, including:

  • Polio, mumps, rubeola (a type of measles) and smallpox. Wait two weeks.
  • Rubella (a type of measles). Wait four weeks.
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, flu and hepatitis B. Wait one day (if no reaction).
  • COVID-19 

  • Body/ear piercing(s). You should wait three months, unless your piercing was performed with a:
    • Sterile, single-use, disposable skin-piercing needle.
    • Piercing gun.
    • Physician or nurse using a disposable needle and septic technique.
  • Infection due to any type of dental work.
  • Hepatitis exposure. There's a:
    • Permanent deferral if you were exposed to viral hepatitis at age 11 or older.
    • Permanent deferral if you have close contact (living in the same house), except if the person has asymptomatic hepatitis C.
    • Deferral for 12 months if you were exposed to hepatitis A or B, or symptomatic hepatitis C.
  • Tattoo(s): You may need to wait three months, depending on the state where you live.

Did you know these facts about donating in your community?

Your donation will directly supports our blood supply.

Thanks to the support of our donors, staff, partners and patients, our Blood Donor Center has been the "lifeblood" of our community for more than 30 years, helping to save countless lives.

Our mission remains the same: protecting lives by providing quality blood services and exceptional customer service. Our need for blood is greater than ever.

Healthy people are the only source of blood donations. Blood in liquid form has a lifespan of only 42 days, so we need donors regularly.

After each donation is made, the laboratory tests the blood for a variety of agents, including:

  • Chagas disease (only the first donation.)
  • Hepatitis B surface antigen (HbsAg).
  • Hepatitis C virus antibody (anti -HCV).
  • HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibody (anti-HIV-1 and HIV-2).
  • HTLV-1 and HTLV-II antibody (anti-HTLV-1 and anti-HTLV-II).
  • Serologic test for syphilis.
  • Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing (NAT) for HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and West Nile Virus.

  • Diagnoses associated with cancer, heart disease and gastrointestinal disease.
  • Fractures and trauma.
  • Anemia.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Bone and joint abnormalities.
  • Lung, liver and kidney diseases.

  • You cannot contract any disease by giving blood.
  • All equipment is sterile and new.
  • We screen all donors prior to donation, to ensure it is safe for you to donate and safe for a patient to receive your blood.

Our Blood Donor Center accepts only volunteer, unpaid blood donors, which is the safest source of human blood.

  • Accident victims.
  • Babies.
  • Children and adults with acute burns or blood clot problems.
  • Those with catastrophic diseases, such as leukemia and hemophilia.