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Blood Donation Eligibility Guidelines



17 years old and up (16 with parental consent)


Minimum 110 pounds


No defferal for:

         Skin cancer (Basal cell) -no deferral

No waiting period for:




         flu shot

Allergy shots

Contraceptive pills or hormones

Mild analgesics


Most blood pressure medications

Waiting period for:


         tetanus-2 weeks if bite or cut otherwise no deferral

         typhoid-2 weeks

         polio (oral)-2 weeks


Those with history of:

         AIDS or a positive test for HIV

         High risk group for HIV/AIDS

         IV drug use

         Hepatitis or a positive test for Hepatitis after age 11

         Serious heart disease

         Serious liver, lung or kidney diseases

         Uncontrolled Diabetes

         Lymphoma, leukemia

         Multiple Sclerosis

         Rheumatoid Arthritis

         Travel to or lived in the UK (including England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands) 1980-present, for three months or more total.

Not Eligible-Temporarily:

3 Years:

         Malaria - An immigrant, refugee or citizen of a malaria endemic area

1 Year:

         Blood transfusion

         Travel to an area endemic for malaria

         Have been in jail/prison for more than 72 consecutive hours

6 Weeks:

         Pregnancy, delivery, miscarriage or abortion



Body piercing and tattoos if performed at a licensed facility in the state of Texas.


Antibiotics - after last dosage, except Accutane for acne.

There is no upper age limit as long as you are well with no restrictions or limitations to your activities. Other aspects of each potential donor's health history are discussed as part of the donation process before any blood is collected. Each donor receives a brief examination during which temperature, pulse, blood pressure and blood count (hemoglobin or hematocrit) are measured.


(This list is not complete. Details of each donor's health and activities are discussed prior to blood donation.)

Allergy, Stuffy Nose, Itchy Eyes, Dry Cough
Accept as long as person feels well, no fever, and no problems breathing through mouth

See 'hemoglobin'.

Wait 2 days after taking antibiotics for an infection.
Accept persons taking antibiotics to prevent an infection, for example, following dental.
Those with a temperature above 99.5 may not donate until the fever is passed.  

Accept if no difficult breathing at the time of donation.

Blood Pressure, High
Accept as long as blood pressure is below 180 systolic (first number) and below 100 diastolic (second number) at the time of donation. Medications for high blood pressure do not disqualify someone from donating.

Blood Transfusion
Wait for 12 months after receiving a blood transfusion in the United States.
Person may not donate if transfused since 1980 in the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands, Isle of Man), Gibraltar or Falkland Islands.

Those whose cancers were treated with chemotherapy, radiation or immunotherapy, or who had leukemia or lymphoma, are not eligible to donate.
Some low-risk cancers including basal cell cancer of the skin, and carcinoma in situ of the uterine cervix treated with conization alone are eligible to donate.

Cholesterol, high
Accept persons with high cholesterol, with or without medications, and those on medications to lower their cholesterol level.

Cold, Flu, Sore Throat
2 weeks after all symptoms are gone.
Wait 2 days after you have completed antibiotic treatment.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD)
Those who have a close blood relative who had Creutzfeld-Jacob disease or who is in a family that has been told they have a genetic risk for Creutzfeld-Jacob disease are not eligible to donate.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, Variant (vCJD)
Donor who have resided in the United Kingdom may be risk for exposure to variant CJD.

Dental Procedures
Accept routine dental exams, filling of cavities and periodic cleaning. Dental surgery and or tooth extractions 72 hours.

Accept if controlled by medication or diet.

Donation Intervals
Wait at least 8 weeks between whole blood (standard) donations.                                                                                                                     Wait 16 weeks between double red cells.
Wait at least 3 days between plateletpheresis donations.                                                                                                                                  Wait 28 days between plasmapheresis

Accept if the person has been seizure-free for the last 12 months.
Medications for seizures do not disqualify someone as a blood donor.

HIV (the AIDS virus)
Do not give blood to get an AIDS test. Please go to your own doctor or the local health department if you want to get tested. If you have any reason to believe you may carry HIV, do not donate blood. You could seriously harm a patient.
Those who are at increased risk for becoming infected with HIV are not eligible to donate blood. According to the Food and Drug Administration, you are at increased risk if:

         you are a male who has had sex with another male since 1977, even once;

         you have ever used a needle, even once, to take drugs or steroids that were not prescribed by a physician;

         you have taken clotting factor concentrates for a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia;

         you were born in or lived in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Niger, or Nigeria since 1977;

         you have taken drugs or money in exchange for sex since 1977;

         you have ever had a positive test for HIV virus;

         you have symptoms of HIV infection including unexplained weight loss, night sweats, blue or purple spots on or under the skin, long-lasting white spots or unusual sores in your mouth, lumps in your neck, armpits, or groin that last more than a month, fever higher than 99 degrees that lasts more than 10 days, diarrhea lasting over a month, or persistent cough and shortness of breath;

Wait for 12 months after close contact with someone at increased risk for HIV infection such as paying or being paid to have sex, rape, sex with an IV drug user, or a needlestick exposure to someone else's blood.

Heart Disease
A donor with history of heart disease must have written permission from his/her cardiologist and approval from the blood bank physician to donate blood.

Heart murmur
Accept those with heart murmurs as long as they have no symptoms on the day of donation, no restrictions on their physical activity and are not taking any medications for heart disease.

Hemoglobin, Hematocrit, Blood Count
Each donor's hemoglobin is measured at the blood collection site before donation is allowed.
Accept those with a hemoglobin at or above 12.5 g/dL.
Accept those with a hematocrit at or above 38%.

Hepatitis or Jaundice
Persons who have had hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) caused by a virus or unexplained jaundice (yellow discoloration of the skin) since age 11 are not eligible to donate blood. Accept persons who had jaundice or hepatitis due to something other than a viral infection such as medications, Gilbert's disease, bile duct obstruction, alcohol, gallstones or trauma to the liver.
Persons who have tested positive for hepatitis B or hepatitis C are not eligible to donate, even if they were never sick or jaundiced from the condition.  

Hepatitis Exposure
Wait 12 months after close contact with someone who has hepatitis. (Close contact is defined as sexual contact or sharing the same household, kitchen, dormitory, or toilet facilities).
Wait 12 months after detention in a correctional institution or residence in a long-term psychiatric institution.
Wait 12 months after receiving a blood transfusion, blood injections, non-sterile needle stick or blood exposure to non-intact skin or a mucous membrane.
Wait 12 months following human bite if it broke the skin.
Wait 12 months after using intranasal cocaine or any other street drug.

Accept those who were recently vaccinated for influenza, providing donor is symptom-free and fever-free.
Wait 4 weeks after immunizations for German Measles (Rubella), MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) and Chicken Pox (Varivax).
Wait 2 weeks after immunizations for Red Measles (Rubeola), Mumps, Polio with the oral (mouth) preparation and Yellow Fever vaccine.

Infectious Mononucleosis
Accept those with infectious mononucleosis ("mono") once the infections has passed, 6 months as long as the person did not have hepatitis.

Intravenous Drug Use
Those who have ever used IV drugs that were not prescribed by a physician are not eligible to donate.

Lyme Disease
Accept persons with Lyme disease if they were treated, the disease resolved and at least 1 year has passed.
Those with chronic Lyme disease are not eligible to donate blood.

Wait for 3 years after completing treatment for malaria.

In almost all cases, medications do not disqualify a person as a blood donor. The person's eligibility is based on the reason that the medication was prescribed. As long as the condition is under control and the person is healthy, blood donation is usually permitted. There are just a few selected drugs that are potentially toxic if given to a patient through transfusion; persons on these medications have waiting periods before donating:
Wait 3 years from the last dose of Soriatane (acitretin).
Wait 30 days after taking Accutane (isoretinoin), Proscar (finasteride), Propecia (finasteride), methotrexate
Persons who have ever taken Tegison (etretinate) are not eligible to donate blood.
Permanent deferral after taking Arava (leflunomide).
Wait 36 hours after taking aspirin and wait 2 weeks after taking Ticlid (ticlopidine) if you are going to donate plateletpheresis.

Organ/Tissue Transplants
Wait 12 months after receiving an organ or tissue transplant from another person. This includes bone and dental powder.

Piercing (ears, body), Acupuncture
1 week deferral if performed at a licensed facility in state of Texas.
Wait 12 months if there is any question whether or not the piercing instruments were sterile and free of blood contamination.

Persons who are pregnant are not eligible to donate.
Wait 6 weeks after delivering, miscarrying or terminating a pregnancy.
Accept mothers who are nursing.

Serious Illness
Those who have had infections with Chagas Disease, babesiosis or leishmaniasis are not eligible to donate blood.
Those with systemic lupus erythematosis, multiple sclerosis or systemic scleroderma are not eligible to donate blood.

Sickle Cell
Accept persons with sickle cell trait. Those with sickle cell disease are not eligible to donate.

Skin Disease and Rash
Accept persons with skin diseases as long as the skin over the vein to be used to collect blood is not affected.

Accept those who have had surgery recently as long as the wound is healed, stitches are dissolved or removed and the underlying condition is acceptable in a blood donor.

Wait 12 months after being treated for syphilis, gonorrhea.

1 week deferral if the tattoo was in a licensed facility in state of Texas. 

Travel Outside of U.S.
Wait 12 months after travel into areas with a risk of malaria.
Wait 3 years after immigrating from a country with malaria.
Persons who have spent long periods of time in countries where mad cow disease is found are not eligible to donate. You may not donate if you have stayed more than 3 months total in countries on list 1, or more than 6 months total in countries on list 1 or 2, since 1980.

List 1: England, Wales, Scotland, Isle of Man, Channel Islands, Northern Ireland, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar
List 2: All of the countries in Europe, Oman

Note: This list is not complete. Details of each donor's health and activities are discussed 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 eligibility 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.

Whole Blood Donation Information  Apheresis Donor Information Blood Drive Information

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