Donor Eligbility Requirements

General and Physical

To donate, you must:

  • Be at least 17 years old (there is no maximum age limit)
  • Have a form of picture identification such as a driver's license or an employee badge
  • Eat a good meal and drink plenty of water prior to donation

You should also be in general good health and feel well the day of your donation. Your vitals must meet the following guidelines at the time of your donation:

  • Blood Pressure - below 180/100
  • Temperature - less than 99.5
  • Hematocrit - at least 38%
  • Pulse - 50–100 bpm
  • Weight - at least 110 lbs

Medical

During the medical history interview, we will ask you several personal questions related to your health. Your accurate answers are vital to keeping patients safe from transfusion-transmitted diseases.

Below are some topics the medical history interview will address. Select a topic for more detailed information about eligibility:

Conditions and diseases Conditions and diseases

Some conditions do require a temporary or permanent deferment to protect the recipient of the blood from any harmful exposure to illnesses and you, the donor, from compromising your health.

Select a condition or disease below for more information:

Cancer Cancer

You can donate blood after being cancer free for five years following most types of cancer.

You cannot donate blood if you have ever had melanoma, lymphoma or leukemia.

Diabetes Diabetes

If your diabetes is controlled by oral medication or diet, you are able to donate blood.

If you are insulin dependent, please stop by the Blood Center for an individual evaluation.

Heart Disease Heart Disease

If you have a history of coronary or rheumatic heart disease, you are permanently deferred from donating blood

Hepatitis Hepatitis

If you have had hepatitis since age 11, you are permanently deferred from donating blood.

If you have received Hepatitis B immune globulin, you are deferred for one year.

If you have had close contact with a person who has hepatitis, you are deferred for one year from the date of the last contact.

Gonorrhea Gonorrhea

You will be deferred for one year from the date of your final treatment for gonorrhea.

Syphyllis Syphyllis

You will be deferred for one year from the date of your final treatment for syphilis.

HIV/AIDS HIV/AIDS

If you have ever tested positive for HIV, you are permanently deferred from donating blood.

If you have sex with anyone with AIDS or a positive HIV test, you are deferred for one year from last sexual contact.

If you are a male who has had sex with another male since 1977, you are permanently deferred from donating blood.

If you have ever taken money or drugs as payment for sex, you are permanently deferred from donating blood.

Chagas or Babesiosis Chagas or Babesiosis

You are permanently deferred from donating blood if you have Chagas Disease or Babesiosis.

vCJD (human version of mad cow disease) vCJD (human version of mad cow disease)

You are permanently deferred from donating blood if you have a blood relative who has been diagnosed with vCJD.

You are also permanently deferred if you have resided in countries where the risk of contracting vCJD is higher. Visit the travel section of this page to view a list of vCJD risk areas.

Phlebitis Phlebitis

If you have a history of phlebitis, you are permanently deferred from donating blood.

Medications Medications

Medications that DO NOT affect donor eligibility

Most medications are acceptable, including:

  • Blood pressure medications
  • Cholesterol medications
  • Seasonal allergy medications
  • Anti-depressants
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Birth control
  • Thyroid medications
  • Acetaminophen
  • Anti-inflammatory medications, including ibuprofen and aspirin
    (Anti-inflammatory medications do affect platelet donations. Do not take these medications for two full days prior to donating platelets.)

Medications that DO affect donor eligibility

Some medications do require a temporary deferment to protect the recipient of the blood from any harmful exposure to the medications or illnesses.

Select a medication below for details about the length of deferment.

Antibiotics Antibiotics

You cannot donate blood if you are currently taking antibiotics or have an infection. You may donate blood once you have completed your full course of antibiotics.

Accutane Accutane

You cannot donate blood while taking Accutane. You may donate blood one month from the date of your final dose.

Avodart Avodart

You cannot donate blood while taking Avodart. You may donate blood six months from the date of your final dose.

Clotting factors Clotting factors

If you have ever taken clotting factors, you are permanently deferred from donating blood.

If you have had sex with anyone who has ever taken clotting factors, you are deferred for one year from last sexual contact.

Coumadin Coumadin

You cannot donate blood while taking Coumadin. If you have ever taken Coumadin, please stop by the Blood Center to be evaluated on an individual basis.

Propecia Propecia

You cannot donate blood while taking Propecia. You may donate blood one month from the date of your final dose.

Proscar Proscar

You cannot donate blood while taking Propecia. You may donate blood one month from the date of your final dose.

Soriatane Soriatane

You cannot donate blood while taking Soriatane. You may donate three years from the date of your final dose.

Tegison Tegison

You are permanently deferred from donating blood if you have ever taken Tegison.

Warfarin Warfarin

You cannot donate blood while taking Warfarin. If you have ever taken Warfarin, please stop by the Blood Center to be evaluated on an individual basis.

Needle sticks and IV drug use Needle sticks and IV drug use

You are deferred for one year from the date of an accidental contaminated needle stick.

If you have ever used IV drugs, you are permanently deferred from donating blood.

If you have had sex with an IV drug user, you are deferred from donating blood for one year.

Pregnancy Pregnancy

If you are or might be currently pregnant, you cannot donate blood.

You can donate blood after you have been cleared from your physician six weeks post partum, even if you are breastfeeding.

Tattoos and piercings Tattoos and piercings

Ear piercings will not cause you to be deferred from donating blood as long as the piercing was performed by a professional using a sterile, single-use needle.

However, you will be deferred for one year from the date of obtaining self-inflicted ear piercings, self-inflicted body piercings, professional body piercings and tattoos.

Transfusions, transplants and grafts Transfusions, transplants and grafts

You are deferred from donating blood for one year from the date of receiving a blood transfusion, bone graft, organ and tissue transplant.

If you received an artifical bone graft, you are only deferred until after you are released from your physician, typically six weeks after surgery.

If you had a blood transfusion in the U.K. or France between 1980-present, you are permanently deferred from donating blood.

You are permanently deferred from donating blood if you have had a Dura Mater Transplant graft.

Vaccinations and shots Vaccinations and shots

No waiting period is required after receiving most vaccinations, including:

  • Polio (Salk injection)
  • Rabies (no animal bite involved)
  • Recombinant
  • Tetanus
  • Typhoid (injection)

A one-week waiting period is required after receiving the Hepatitis B vaccination.

A two-week waiting period is required after receiving one of the following:

  • Typhoid (oral)
  • Yellow Fever

A four-week waiting period is required after receiving one of the following:

  • Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR)
  • Chicken Pox/Shingles

A year waiting period is required after receiving one of the following:

  • Rabies (after an animal bite)
  • HBIG (Hepatits B Immune Globulin)

Travel

Some diseases, like vCJD (human version of mad cow disease) and malaria, can be associated with travel or residency is certain areas. During your interview, we will ask you about international travel, including cruises, within the last three years and all military-related travel.

Please have the following information ready when you call or come by to donate:

  • The name of the country to which you traveled
  • The name of the cities and various local attractions you toured
  • Your travel dates, including when you departed and returned

Risk Areas

vCJD (human version of mad cow diease) vCJD (human version of mad cow diease)

Mad Cow Diease is a fatal brain disease found in cattle in certain parts of the world. In these same locations, a new disease called variant Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease (vCJD), also a fatal brain disease, has been found in humans. Scientists now believe vCJD is a form of Mad Cow Disease that has somehow transferred to humans, possibly through the food chain.

There is some indication vCJD can be transmitted through transfusion. Because there is currently no test for vCJD in humans, blood centers must take special precautions to protect the blood supply by avoiding collecting blood from those who have been to areas where this disease has been found.

If you have questions about your eligibility, please refer to the chart below:

United Kingdom Channel Islands, England, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Traveled to or lived in for a total time of 3 months or more between 1980-1996

You cannot donate.

Europe Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Republic or Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Turkey and Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro)

Traveled to or lived in for a total of 5 years or more since 1980-present.

You cannot donate.

U.S. Military Bases Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and United Kingdom

Resided at these or any other vCJD risk U.S. Military bases for a total of 6 months or more from 1980-1990.

You cannot donate.
U.S. Military Bases Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Turkey

Resided at these or any other vCJD risk U.S. Military bases for a total of 6 months or more from 1980-1996.

You cannot donate.

Malaria Malaria

Malaria is a blood infection caused by a parasite and can be transmitted through blood transfusion. Because of the possibility of having malaria without showing any symptoms, the Scott & White Blood Center must defer potential donors who have spent time in malaria risk areas as a precaution, regardless of any preventative medications taken before travelling.

If you have any questions about your eligibility, please refer to the chart below:   

Dates Length of Stay Malaria Risk Areas Deferral
Travel within the past 12 months Any length of time Most of Central & South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, Mexico, Iraq and tropical areas. 12 months
Residency within the past three years Six months or more Most of Central & South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, Mexico and tropical areas. Three years

The Scott & White Blood Center creates travel deferral guidelines based on the current list of malaria risk areas provided by The Centers for Disease Control and Protection. For more in-depth information about malaria risk areas, please visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov or call us at 1-877-724-HERO.

Note: This page contains only some of the most common deferrals. It is not complete and is not intended to be used in place of medical screening by trained professionals at the blood center at the time of donation. Each donor will be required to answer questions about his/her medical history in a private screening booth. Medical staff will make a final decision about each donor's eligibility based on rules specified by the Food and Drug Administration. These rules were established to ensure the donation process will be safe for the donor as well as for the patient receiving the blood. The guidelines listed below were last revised on February 23, 2011. Changes to the criteria may have been made since the last revision date. Contact the Scott & White Blood Center at 877-724-HERO for the most current eligibility information.


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