Most people can donate blood, assuming they’re feeling well. People with many health conditions – like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol – can still donate blood if their condition is well managed.
Everyone’s situation is different, so we encourage you to call us at 888-308-3924 to discuss your health history and if you’ll be able to donate.
Age & Weight Minimums
The first step in donating is ensuring you’re feeling good enough to donate. If so, you must then meet minimum age and weight criteria:
- 16 years old and weigh at least 125 pounds (with signed parental permission)
- 17 years old and weigh at least 125 pounds
- 18 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds.
Some donations – like double red cell donations – have higher weight minimums, so please contact us if you want to make one of these types of donations..
Many common medical conditions – like high blood pressure and diabetes – won’t disqualify you from donating. As long as your condition is well regulated, you can usually donate. Other conditions – like cancer – require a waiting period before donating. Cancer survivors can generally donate blood one year after being declared cancer free, although those who have had hematologic blood cancers like leukemia or lymphoma are permanently ineligible to donate.
Surgery & Blood Transfusions
After most non-cardiac surgeries, you are eligible to donate two weeks after your surgery, assuming you’ve been released from medical care and are well recovered. If you’ve received a blood transfusion, you must wait three months to donate.
Most prescription medications taken on a daily basis won’t keep you from donating, but some do, so it’s important to confirm before donating. See a partial list of common medications that will keep you from donating, or call 888-308-3924 to check on your specific situation.
If you’re taking an antibiotic or running a fever, you’ll need to wait to donate until one week after completing your antibiotic, assuming you’re feeling well. Those who are taking antibiotics daily for conditions like acne may be eligible to donate.
If you got a tattoo in a licensed facility in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas or many nearby states, you can donate blood immediately. Otherwise, you’ll need to wait three months to donate.
Travel & Time Overseas
Travelling to other countries can bring additional health risks, so you’ll always be asked about recent travel before donating. If you’ve recently travelled to a country with a high malaria risk, you may have to wait three months to donate. Since the countries with this risk changes often, please reach out to us at 888-308-3924 to ask about your specific travel.
For those who spent time in Europe, you may not be able to donate blood due to the risk of Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease (Mad Cow Disease). The locations and dates for this deferral recently changed, however, so it’s important to closely review the current regulations to see if you’re now eligible to give.
- Spent three months or more in the United Kingdom from 1980-1996.
- Spent five years or more in France or Ireland from 1980-2001