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You are here : Home/ Blood Zone/ Blood Donor Requirements

Blood donor requirements

Blood Donor Requirements

It is our responsibility to protect the health of our blood donors and to assure the safety of the blood supply. Therefore, a donor’s general health is evaluated at the time of each donation. All physical conditions are subject to the approval of the respective Blood Bank physician. High or low blood pressure may defer a donor. Low hemoglobin (iron) content in the blood is also cause for temporary deferral. Tests will be performed at the time of donation. The most common eligibility guidelines are listed below.
Basic Requirements
  • Be in generally good health and feeling well
  • Weigh at least 50.
  • Be 17 years of age—there is no upper limit
  • There may be additional requirements for some apheresis donations

Donation Frequency
  • Whole blood donors may be donated every 56 days
  • Platelet donors may donate every 48 hours
  • Plasma donors may donate every 4 weeks
  • Red cell apheresis donors may donate every 2 days

Donor Eligibility Guide

Last Donated Whole Blood Red -blood Cells/
Double Red Cells Plasma Platelet / Plasma Platelet Platelet / Plasma / Red Blood Cells Platelet / Red Blood Cells White Blood Cells
Whole Blood 8 wks 8 wks 8 wks 8 wks 8 wks 8 wks 8 wks 8 wks 8 wks
Automated Red Blood Cells (RBC) and Plasma 8 wks 8 wks 8 wks 8 wks 8 wks 8 wks 8 wks 8 wks 8 wks
Automated Double Red Blood Cells 16 wks 16 wks 16 wks 16 wks 16 wks 16 wks 16 wks 16 wks 16 wks
Automated Plasma 2 days 4 wks 2 days 4 wks 4 wks 2 days 4 wks 2 days 2 days
Automated Platelets / Plasma 2 days 4 wks 2 days 4 wks 4 wks 2 days 4 wks 2 days 2 days
Automated Platelets 2 days 2 days 2 days 2 days 2 days 2 days 2 days 2 days 2 days
Automated Platelet / Plasma / RBC 8 wks 8 wks 8 wks 4 wks 4 wks 2 days 8 wks 8 wks 8 wks
Automated Platelet / RBC 8 wks 8 wks 8 wks 2 days 2 days 2 days 8 wks 8 wks 8 wks
Automated White Blood Cells: WBC 2 days 2 days 2 days 2 days 2 days 2 days 2 days 2 days 4 wks
Automated Stem Cells / monocytes: PBSC 2 days 2 days 2 days 2 days 2 days 2 days 2 days 2 days 4 wks

Eligibility intervals may vary for; Autologous or Designated donors, or by automated collection for number of donations in any 12 month period and eligibility requirements for height, weight and blood counts in addition to those for whole blood donors.

Individuals who must not donate blood

Do not donate blood if you have ever tested positive for HIV/ AIDS or if:
  • You are tested positive with HIV
  • You have ever injected yourself with drugs not prescribed by a physician
  • You are a man and have had sex with another man, even once
  • You have hemophilia or another blood clotting disorder and received clotting factor concentrate
  • You have engaged in sex for drugs or money
  • You are a sexual partner (past or present )of someone in the above list

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Other Considerations

Medical Conditions

  • Allergies — can donate if no infection present
  • Arthritis — can donate if no redness, pain or swelling at the time of donation
  • Asthma — can donate if no symptoms
  • Blood disorders or bleeding tendencies — cannot donate
  • Brain or spinal surgery that required a transplant of brain covering (dura mater) — cannot donate
  • CJD: A blood relative diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) or an increased family risk of CJD — cannot donate
  • Cancer
    • Basal cell, squamous cell skin cancers — can donate when removed and healed
    • Keratosis — accept existing or if treated
    • Melanoma — cannot donate
    • Malignant tumors — can donate after 5 years in remission
  • Colds, fever, flu
    • Cold, flu, sore throat, cough, respiratory infection — can donate if no symptoms
  • Cold Sore
    • Cold sore, fever blister, canker sore — can donate
  • Diabetes — can donate if stable
  • Heart Attack — can donate after one year if no symptoms and no heart medication (Aspirin is okay)
  • Heart Surgery such as coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG), stent or angioplasty — can donate after one year if no symptoms and no heart medication (Aspirin is okay)
  • Hemochromatosis — cannot donate
  • Hepatitis
    • Hepatitis or undiagnosed jaundice after age 10 — cannot donate
    • Hepatitis at age 10 or younger — can donate if no known positive confirmed test results for Hepatitis B surface antigen, or known Hepatitis C
    • Positive hepatitis test — cannot donate
  • Herpes (genital) — can donate after lesions clear
  • Major/minor surgery — can donate after healed and released from MD care and reason permits
  • Pregnancy — can donate 6 weeks after delivery
  • SARS
    • 28 days after illness
    • 14 days after direct contact with infected person
    • 14 days after returning from affected areas
  • Strokes — can donate after 1 yr. if stable and on no stroke medications (Aspirin is OK)

Venereal disease
  • Genital herpes — can donate if all lesions are clear
  • Chlamydia, genital warts — can donate
  • Gonorrhea, syphilis and all other venereal diseases — can donate 1 year after treatment

  • Acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) — can donate for any blood donation
  • Accutane — can donate 4 weeks after last dose
  • Allergy medication — can donate
  • Antibiotics — can donate 24 hours after last dose if no symptoms of infection; no wait if taken for prevention
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Advil, Ibuprofen, Motrin and Naprosyn — cannot take for 24 hrs before a platelet (“Super”) donation
  • Aspirin — containing products, Feldene and Lodine XL — cannot take for 36 hours before a platelet (“Super”) donation
  • Avodart — can donate 6 months after last dose
  • Blood pressure medication — can donate if blood pressure is stable
  • Depression medication — can donate
  • Diuretics — can donate
  • Diabetic medication
    • Oral or insulin — can donate if condition is stable
    • Injected bovine (beef) insulin since 1980 — cannot donate
  • Diet pills — can donate
  • Birth control pills — can donate
  • Female hormone pills — can donate
  • Soriatane (Acitretin) — can donate 3 years after last dose
  • Steroids — can donate 2 weeks after last dose and no symptoms
  • Tegison — cannot donate if ever taken
  • Thyroid medication — can donate if stabilized

  • Polio, mumps, rubeola (a type of measles) — can donate after 2 weeks
  • Rubella (a type of measles) — can donate after 4 weeks
  • Smallpox vaccination or physical contact with another's unhealed vaccination — can donate after 2 months and no signs or symptoms of vaccinia
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, flu, Hepatitis B — can donate if no reaction

Other Possible Restrictions
  • Body/ear piercing/acupuncture — can donate if done with a sterile, single use needle/equipment or with a piercing gun using single use studs, otherwise, after 1 year
  • Dental work
    • Cleaning, fillings — can donate next day
    • Root canal — can donate 3 days after completion
    • Tooth extraction — can donate 3 days after extraction, healed and no infection
  • Hepatitis exposure — needs evaluation
  • Tattoo — can donate after 1 year

Look before you Donate

Before you donate blood, it's important that you are aware of what the donation process involves, what is expected from you and what you can expect from your nearest Blood Bank. Below are some simple guidelines you should follow so that your donation experience can be as quick and pleasant as possible.

What You Should Do Prior To Donating
  • Try to make an appointment to minimize your wait time
  • Drink plenty of fluids and have a good meal before you donate
  • Review the donor requirements and verify that you are indeed eligible to donate at this time
  • If you plan to donate on a nearby blood camp, make sure to review the blood camp schedule to verify that it has not been rescheduled
  • If you are a 17 or 18 year-old student, you must have a signed permission slip to donate blood

What You Should Eat Before Donating
  • Low fat foods
  • Iron rich foods
What You Should Bring When Donating
  • Bring a photo ID
  • Bring a list of medications you are taking
  • Bring a list of places you have visited in the past 3 years
  • Bring a friend to donate with you

Refer the Donor eligibility test guide for blood donors

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