Am I Eligible?
We frequently receive questions about eligibility to donate blood. We have compiled answers to some of the most common questions. If you need more information or would like to discuss eligibility further, please don’t hesitate to contact a donor specialist at 1-877-24-BLOOD.
If you are 16 or 17 years of age, you will need a signed parental permission to donate form.
You must weigh at least 110 pounds to donate blood.
Your blood pressure must be between 180/100 and 90/50. Most high blood pressure medications are acceptable.
FREQUENCY OF DONATION
Whole blood can be donated every 56 days. Platelets can be donated every seven days, up to 24 times a year. Plasma can be donated every 28 days.
It is important to eat a substantial meal and drink plenty of water or juice before donating. Avoid beverages with caffeine or alcohol before donating. It is also important to be well rested.
Travel to tourist areas in most parts of the world is acceptable. You may be deferred for one year if you have traveled to a malarial risk area. Ask a donor specialist for the most recent information.
You must wait 72 hours after a root canal, tooth extractions or periodontal procedure. There is no waiting period for cleanings or fillings.
There is no deferral period after a flu shot if you are symptom-free. However, other immunizations may have a two to four week deferral period.
You may donate six weeks after the end of your pregnancy, but not during.
If you have diabetes, and your condition is controlled by diet, oral medication or insulin, you may donate. For specific questions, please contact a donor specialist.
HEART DISEASE AND CARDIOVASCULAR ACCIDENTS
If symptom-free for at least six months, some donors with heart disease, recent heart surgery, heart attacks or CVAs are eligible to donate. This is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
People who have been successfully treated for some types of cancer are eligible to donate.
TATTOOS AND BODY PIERCING
You are eligible to donate after receiving a tattoo if the tattoo was performed in a licensed commercial establishment in Washington state. If you do not meet those criteria, you must wait one year to donate after getting a tattoo. Professional body and ear piercings are also acceptable when performed at a licensed commercial establishment. Otherwise, these are a one-year deferral.
You must be off antibiotics for 48 hours and symptom free before donating blood. Antibiotics taken in low doses for preventative treatment or acne may be okay.
Hormones, antidepressants, cholesterol, most blood pressure medications and other prescription medications are acceptable, as long as you are feeling well.