Blood Donation Eligibility Guidelines
Basic Donation Criteria:
You must meet all of the following criteria in order to donate:
a. Be at least 17 years old. (Sixteen year olds may donate with parental
b. Weigh at least 110 lbs. (body weight).
c. Generally feel well and healthy.
d. Have no fever, sore throat, or flu-like symptoms.
e. Have no active cold symptoms.
f. Have not had major surgery recently (released from doctor’s care).
g. Requirements for automated red cell donors:
- Men: ≥ 5’ 1” height, weight ≥ 130 lbs.
- Women: ≥ 5’ 3” height, weight ≥ 150 lbs.
The following criteria may affect your ability to donate and result in a temporary deferral:
a. Tattoo/Body Piercing* - these are acceptable if sterile technique was
used in a biohazard controlled facility in Ohio, Kentucky, or other
selected states; if done in any other manner, you must wait 12 months
after the procedure was performed. See, here, also.
b. Pregnancy – you cannot donate while pregnant; you may donate six
weeks after the pregnancy has ended.
c. Allergies – you may not donate until 6 hours after your allergy shot.
d. Travel* - if traveling to a known malarial zone, you must wait
one year after your return; if you lived in a known malarial zone more
than 5 years, you must wait 3 years after immigrating to the U.S.
e. Other* - between 1980-1996, if you spent 3 months or more in the United
Kingdom or were a member of the U.S. military, a civilian military employee,
or a dependent of a member of the U.S. military.
You may donate if you are taking the following medications:
a. Aspirin – platelet donors must wait 48 hours after ingestion.
b. Birth control pills
c. Blood Pressure Medication – provided your blood pressure is under
d. Antibiotics – after course is completed and feeling well.
e. Diabetes medication – Oral medication is acceptable; insulin
dependent diabetics may donate provided they have not used beef-source
insulin since Jan. 1, 1980.
f. Heart Disease/Other Medications*
You may NOT donate at any time (permanent disqualification) if you have/had:
a. Tested positive for HIV.
b. Participated in high-risk behaviors associated with HIV infection. At this
time, this does include any sexual contact between men since 1977. (This
policy is being reviewed by the FDA at the request of the blood banking
community, including Hoxworth Blood Center, thru representative
agencies such as America’s Blood Centers and the American Red Cross.
Until FDA decides otherwise, we currently have to continue to defer men
who have had sexual contact with men since 1977.)
c. Viral Hepatitis after the age of 11.
d. Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C virus infection at any age.
e. Spent time in Europe that adds up to five or more years (since 1980).
f. Certain forms of Cancer.*
General recommendations to help with the donation process:
a. Eat a good meal and drink plenty of non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic
fluids before and after donating.
b. Bring your last 3 years of foreign travel history.
c. You may donate again in 56 days (8 weeks), unless you donated a double
red cell (112 days).
*Call Hoxworth Blood Center Donor Services for information regarding other states for Tattoo/Body Piercing or more information regarding Parental Consent, Medications, Travel, Military Service, Heart Disease, and Cancer at (513) 558-1304; toll-free at (800) 265-1515, ext. 8-1304.