Donors must be in general good health at the time of donation, and symptom-free of cold and flu symptoms for at least three days. Mild allergy symptoms at time of donations are acceptable. Asthma under control is acceptable. Unexplained diarrhea is a 14-day deferral.
Deferral for most drugs is based on the nature of the disease process, not the drug itself. Aspirin is not cause for deferral, unless the donation is platelets. Most blood pressure medications and oral hypoglycemics are NOT cause for deferral as long as the condition is stable and the donor is without other medical problems. Asthma medication is acceptable if the disease is under control.
If antibiotics are being taken for a current infection, the donor is deferred until 3 days after they finish their course of therapy. Antibiotics for acne are acceptable. Certain medications such as Soriatane, Accutane, Proscar, and Propecia could be harmful to the fetus of a pregnant recipient of that blood product.
Have you received any of the following in the last 12 months: Ear or skin piercing, tattoo, acupuncture, accidental needle stick, or come in contact with someone else's blood?
- Piercings – Ear piercing by a doctor or established facility with a single-use needle or gun is acceptable if the piercing site is free of infection. Piercing of the tongue, belly-button or anything else besides ear, is a 1-year deferral.
- Tattoos – Deferral for a tattoo is 1 year.
- Acupuncture – Donor seeing an approved acupuncturist is acceptable.
- Blood Exposure – Donors who have had any exposure to blood or contact with blood or body fluids through inoculation such as a needle stick are deferred for 1 year.
If you are under a doctor's care for a condition that may result in surgery, you should not donate until the condition is resolved. Other illnesses are evaluated by the Donor Center Medical Director to determine your eligibility.
This question is asked primarily to see if you have been in an area where malaria is common (a so-called "endemic" area). If you visit an endemic area, you will not be allowed to donate for 1 year, even if you were only there for a few hours. If you are unsure if you were in an endemic area, you can call us and ask. Endemic areas are defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
You will be unable to donate blood if you can answer yes to any of the following questions:
- From 1980 through 1996, did you spend time that adds up to 3 months or more in the United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, Gibraltar, or the Falkland Islands)?
- Since 1980 have you received a transfusion of blood, platelets, plasma, cryoprecipitate, or granulocytes in the United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, Gibraltar, or the Falkland Islands)?
- Since 1980 have you spent time that adds up to 5 years or more in France or any other European country?
- Did you spend a total time of 6 months or more associated with a military base in any of the following countries?
- From 1980 through 1990 in Belgium, the Netherlands, or Germany
- From 1980 through 1996 in Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Italy, or Greece