To keep the nation’s blood supply safe and to protect patients and donors, there are some requirements that donors must meet. Generally, donors must:
- Be 17 years of age or older, or 16 with parental consent.
- Weigh at least 110 pounds.
- Be in good health, feeling well, and not taking antibiotics. For example, your blood pressure and temperature must meet medical standards.
- Have last donated blood more than 8 weeks ago.
Some donation centers have additional medical, travel, and lifestyle considerations.
- Kinds of donations: Height and weight requirements may vary based on what kind of donation you choose (whole blood, platelets, double red cells, or plasma).
- Travel: If you traveled outside of the United States in the last 3 years, your travel destinations will be reviewed. Travel to certain areas may keep you from donating, depending on current public health concerns.
- Vaccinations: You may be required to wait a few weeks to donate blood after certain vaccinations. In most cases, you can still donate blood after getting a COVID-19 vaccine if you are symptom-free and feeling well at the time of your donation.
- Tattoos or piercings: You cannot donate blood if you got a tattoo or piercing in the last 3 months in some states. These states include the District of Columbia, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Wyoming.
- Health conditions: People with certain diseases or health conditions (e.g., sickle cell disease, HIV, cancer, malaria) may need to consult with their donation center to discuss eligibility. Additionally, you are not eligible to donate if you received a blood transfusion in the last 3 months.
- Sexual activity: Under the most recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines, commercial sex workers and men who have sex with men cannot donate blood unless they have abstained from sex for at least 3 months. This guidance will be changing after further FDA review.
- Injection drug use: You must abstain from any injection drug use for at least 3 months before donating blood.
If you have any questions or concerns about your eligibility to donate blood, contact your donation center. Help save the lives of people in your community by donating regularly.