Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for your interest in blood donation! Before you donate blood, you may have a few questions. Below are some of the frequently asked questions about blood donation.

Who is eligible to give blood?

Donors must be at least 18 years of age and healthy. 17-year-olds may donate with written permission from a parent or guardian.

Are there any other physical requirements?

You must weigh at least 110 pounds and have a temperature, blood pressure and pulse within specified ranges. These will be checked during your registration process.

How often can I give blood?

Individuals may donate every 56 days (8 weeks), or roughly 6 times per year.

Should I bring identification?

Yes. We are required to verify the identity of our donors prior to allowing them to donate. A photo identification with your date of birth (i.e. driver's license) is required. Those without a license may bring a photo identification and other form of identification that lists the date of birth.

Should I eat before I come to donate?

Yes. It is absolutely essential that you eat something within 2 hours before arriving for your blood donation.

Can I still donate if I take medications?

Most medications (with a few exceptions) are not harmful to those who will be getting your blood.

I take daily aspirin to thin my blood and help prevent heart attacks. Will this affect my ability to donate blood?

Aspirin does not affect your ability to give blood. However, if you are taking it every day, it will prevent you from donating.

I'm just getting over a cold. Can I donate?

No, you can't, but the good news is that the deferral is only temporary. If you had a cold, but have been symptom-free for at least 3 days, you should be well enough to donate.

I'm on antibiotics for a skin (or other) infection. Can I donate?

No. Donors who are on antibiotics must wait until they have been off of their medications for at least 3 days, even if they are feeling well.

I have occasional diarrhea. Can I donate?

Diarrhea can be a sign of bacteria in blood. Therefore, you are not allowed to donate if you have had diarrhea in the last 14 days before your appointment.

I just had my ears and tongue pierced. Can I donate?

Ear piercings, provided they are done by a licensed facility, are acceptable. Other body piercings, however, including tongue piercing, are not acceptable, and make you ineligible for blood donation for 12 months from the time of the procedure.

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