Blood Donation Eligibility Guidelines
17 years old and up
(16 with parental consent)
Minimum 110 pounds
Skin cancer (Basal cell) -no deferral
No waiting period for:
Contraceptive pills or hormones
Most blood pressure medications
Waiting period for:
tetanus-2 weeks if bite or cut otherwise no deferral
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
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.
Malaria - An immigrant, refugee or citizen of a malaria endemic
Travel to an area endemic for malaria
Have been in jail/prison for more than 72 consecutive hours
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
Wait 2 days after taking antibiotics for an infection.
Accept persons taking antibiotics to prevent an infection, for example,
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.
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
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.
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.
Donor who have resided in the United Kingdom may be risk for exposure to variant
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
Each donor's hemoglobin is measured at the blood collection site before donation
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Wait 12 months after receiving an organ or tissue transplant from another
person. This includes bone and dental powder.
Piercing (ears, body),
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.
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.
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