To give blood or platelets, you must be healthy, be at least 17
years old and weigh at least 110 pounds. Healthy means
you feel well and can perform normal activities. If you have a
chronic condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure, healthy
also means you are being treated and the condition is under control.
Blood can be donated every 56 days, and platelets can be donated
every two weeks up to 24 times per year.
Each potential donor receives a brief examination during which
temperature, pulse, blood pressure and blood count (hemoglobin
or hematocrit) are determined.
Donating platelets takes about two hours, and the center is open
a variety of hours, including Saturdays, so you can pick a suitable
time for your schedule. As a special feature, platelet donors
can choose to watch a movie on a DVD player with personal headphones
while their donation is completed!
guidelines are the same as for whole blood donations.
Stuffy Nose, Itchy Eyes, Dry Cough: Acceptable as long as
you feel well, have no fever, and have no problems breathing through
Antibiotics: Must have finished antibiotics for an infection (bacterial
or viral). Acceptable if you are taking antibiotics to prevent
an infection, for example, following dental procedures or for
acne. If you have a temperature above 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit,
you may not donate until the fever is passed.
ASPIRIN SPECIAL NOTE: If you take aspirin or other
medication containing aspirin, you can donate blood, but must
wait 36 hours to donate platelets.
Asthma: Acceptable as long as you are not having difficulty breathing
at the time of donation and you otherwise feel well. Medications
for asthma do not disqualify you from donating.
Blood Pressure Medications: Donors who are taking blood
pressure medication are evaluated for acceptability by their blood
pressure reading on the day of donation.
Acceptable if the cancer was treated with surgery, radiation or
chemotherapy, and it has been at least five years since treatment
was completed with no cancer recurrence. If you had leukemia or
lymphoma, including Hodgkins Disease and mycosis fungoids, you
are not eligible to donate. Some low-risk cancers, including squamous
or basal cell cancers of the skin, do not require a five-year
Certain precancerous conditions, such as those of the uterine
cervix or the colon, do not disqualify you from donation if the
abnormality has been treated successfully.
You should discuss your particular situation with the health historian
at the time of donation.
Cholesterol, high: Acceptable. Medications to lower the
cholesterol level do not disqualify you from donating.
Flu, Sore Throat: Wait if you have a fever or a productive
cough (bringing up phlegm). Wait if you dont feel well on
the day of donation. Wait until you have completed antibiotic
treatment for and are recovered from sinus, throat or lung infection.
Procedures: Acceptable after teeth cleaning, scaling, root
canal, fillings and tooth extractions as long as there is no infection
present. Wait for three days after having other types of oral
surgery, or after treatment for an abscess or infection in
Depression, Anxiety: Acceptable as long as you feel well
and are comfortable with the blood donation process. Medications
for depression or anxiety do not disqualify you from donating.
Acceptable if disease is well controlled.
Epilepsy, Seizures: Acceptable as long as you have been seizure-free
for the last three months. Medications for seizures do not disqualify
you from donating.
Heart Disease: Depends on individual evaluation of type of disease,
symptoms and medication being taken.
Hepatitis, Jaundice: Since age 11, if you had hepatitis (inflammation
of the liver) caused by a virus, or unexplained jaundice (yellow
discoloration of the skin), you are not eligible to donate blood.
This includes those who had hepatitis or jaundice with infectious
mononucleosis at any age.
Acceptable if you had jaundice or hepatitis caused by something
other than a viral infection, such as medications, Gilberts
disease, bile duct obstruction, alcohol, gallstones or trauma
to the liver.
Herpes: Acceptable as long as you are feeling well.
HIV, AIDS: Mandatory deferral for persons with AIDS or AIDS-like
symptoms. Not acceptable if individual has engaged in any AIDS
at-risk behavior or activity per the guidelines determined by
the Food and Drug Administration.
Immunosuppresives: Use of these types of medications will be cause
for deferral. (Prednisone is acceptable in some cases.)
Immunization, Vaccination: Some vaccines are acceptable; otherwise,
duration of deferral depends on specific vaccine(s) administered.
Medications: In almost all cases, medications will not disqualify
you as a blood donor. Your eligibility will be based on the reason
the medication was prescribed. As long as the condition is under
control and you are healthy, blood donation is usually permitted.
There are a handful of drugs that are of special significance
in blood donation. Persons on these drugs have waiting periods
following their last dose before they can donate blood:
Accutane; Proscar; Propecia; Avodart; Coumadin, heparin or other
prescription blood thinners; and Soriatane.
If you ever took Tegison (etretinate), you are not eligible to
donate blood. If you ever took human pituitary-derived growth
hormone, you are not eligible to donate blood.
If you are taking prescription blood thinners such as Coumadin,
Plavix or heparin, you should not donate since your blood will
not clot normally. If your doctor discontinues your treatment
with blood thinners, wait five days before donating.
(ears, body), Electrolysis: instruments used were sterile.
Wait 12 months if there is any question whether or not the instruments
used were sterile and free of blood contamination. This requirement
is related to concerns about hepatitis.
Nursing: Persons who are pregnant are not eligible to donate.
Wait six weeks after giving birth. Nursing does not disqualify
you from donating.
Rash, Acne: Acceptable as long as the skin over the vein to
be used to collect blood is not affected. If the skin disease
has become infected, wait until the infection has cleared before
donating. Taking antibiotics to control acne does not disqualify
you from donating.
Acceptable once the wound is healed and stitches are dissolved
or removed, as long as the underlying condition is also acceptable
in a blood donor. Wait two days after receiving stitches or staples
for lacerations. If a laceration has become infected, wait until
the infection has cleared before donating. Wait 12 months if you
had a blood transfusion using blood from another person during
Wait 12 months after a tattoo. This requirement is related to
concerns about hepatitis.
Outside of U.S., Immigration: Wait 12 months after travel
in an area where malaria is found. Wait three years after moving
to the United States after living in a country where malaria is
found. Persons who have spent long periods of time in countries
where mad cow disease is found are not eligible to
donate. This requirement is related to concerns about variant
Creutzfeld Jakob Disease (vCJD). Persons who were born in or who
lived in certain countries in Western Africa, or who have had
close contact with persons who were born in or who lived in certain
West African countries are not eligible to donate. This requirement
is related to concerns about HIV Group O.
This list is not complete. Details of each donor's health and
activities are discuss prior to blood donation in a confidential
setting, and the final determination of eligibility is made at
that time. Some donor eligibility rules are specified by the Food
and Drug Administration for every blood bank in the country. Other
rules are determined by the particular blood bank and may differ
between programs. Donor eligibly rules are intended to protect
the health and safety of the donor as well as the patient who
will receive the transfusion. Eligibility rules may have changed
since this information was last updated.