Eligibility

Are You Eligible to Donate Life-Saving Blood or Blood Components?

Review the information below to determine your eligibility for various types of donation.  

Here are the essential qualifications, depending on your donation type.  You can choose to donate whole blood or specific components through a process called apheresis or automation.  This process allows one or more specific components of blood (red cells, platelets and/or plasma) to be safely removed through a sterile process and the remaining components are safely returned to you through a sterile process.  To learn more about the donation types, visit Learn More About Blood Donation.

Safety note: You cannot contract blood borne pathogens such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS by donating blood.

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More Eligibility Information

Review the information below to determine if there are any conditions, and feel free to review the FDA Required Reading to familiarize yourself before your donation.  If you have additional questions regarding your eligibility to donate blood, please call our Quality Assurance Team at 571-434-3628.

You may not donate blood if you tested positive for or have HIV/AIDS, or participated in events known to increase exposure to the HIV/AIDS virus; tested positive for hepatitis B or C at any time, Hodgkin’s disease, leukemia, lymphoma or malignant melanoma.

Antibiotic Therapy

No wait after last dose and must be physically well and symptom-free on the day of donation  

Asthma

No wait if symptom-free at time of donation and controlled with medication

Blood Pressure

No wait if blood pressure is no lower than 90/50 and no higher than 180/100

Cancer

Basal cell & Squamous cell cancer of the skin acceptable after removed and healed; breast cancer in-situ or melanoma in-situ, and cervical cancer in-situ acceptable after treated and healed

Most non-blood cancers – one year wait after completion of treatment with no recurrence; must be symptom-free and released from doctor’s care

Dental Care

Acceptable immediately after routine procedures (cleanings; fillings); 72-hour wait after root canal or surgery

Diabetes

No wait when controlled by diet or medication

Heart Attack History

One year wait after heart attack – must have been medically evaluated and released; must currently be without any symptoms, limitations or restrictions in normal daily activities and not on medications for heart disease other than aspirin and blood pressure medications

Hemoglobin/Iron

Males 13.0 g/dl; Females 12.5g/dl

Immunizations (shots)

Allergy or flu vaccines are acceptable with no wait period if symptom-free; hepatitis B vaccine – 14 day wait; others 24 hours to four week waiting period

Malarial Area Travel

Three month wait after return from visiting malaria endemic area (for any period less than five years) or three year wait after having lived in an area with malaria risk for five years or more

Piercing (ear/body)

No wait when received in a professional setting with sterile single-use equipment

Three month wait after an accidental needle stick or any other non-sterile skin penetration

Pulse

No lower than 50 beats per minute and no greater than 100 beats per minute

Pregnancy

Six week wait after vaginal delivery or pregnancy loss; six month wait after C-section

Seizures

Six months wait after last seizure and symptom-free

Surgery

Two to 24 week wait depending on type of surgery. Must have healed surgical wound, resumed normal activity and been released from doctor’s care

Tattoo/Permanent Make-up

No wait when received in a state-regulated facility using sterile single-use equipment. The tattoo site must be properly healed. Three month wait when received in District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah, Wyoming and outside of the United States.

Travel

Visited or lived in any country with malaria risk (please see “Malarial Area Travel” above)

European Travel/Residence

You may not donate blood or platelets at this time if your visits or residency matches or exceeds the total accumulated time during the stated periods in the countries listed below.

From 1980 through 1996, if you have spent three months or more in the United Kingdom:

  • England
  • Northern Ireland
  • Scotland
  • Wales
  • The Isle of Man
  • The Channel Islands
  • Gibraltar
  • The Falkland Islands

From 1980 through 2001, if you have spent time that adds up to 5 years or more cumulatively in France or Ireland. (Time spent in Ireland does not include time spent in Northern Ireland which is a part of the United Kingdom)

Questions?

If you have additional questions regarding your eligibility to donate blood, please call our Quality Assurance Team at 571-434-3628.