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Donating Blood

The Donation Process
  • Prospective donors first complete a health history questionnaire and screening interview
  • The next step involves a brief physical examination of blood pressure, pulse, temperature and a test for anemia
  • If the prescribed medical requirements are met, a unit (about one pint) of blood is drawn from the donor.  Afterwards, donors are served refreshments while remaining seated for 10 minutes
  • The entire process usually takes less than one hour

You are eligible to donate blood if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are in good health
  • You are at least 16 years old
  • You weigh at least 110 pounds
  • And you have not donated blood in the last 56 days (or in the last 112 days if your last donation was a double-red cell donation).


You are also eligible to donate blood with the following conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • On injectable insulin
  • On oral medications
  • Menstruation
  • Antibiotics
  • Oral for acne or dental procedures (without infection), Prevention of UTI
  • Allergy Medications, Diuretics, Diet Pills, Sleeping Pills, Tranquilizers, Aspirin, Tylenol
  • Blood Pressure Medications
  • Cholesterol Medications
  • Flu shot


The following medical conditions make you ineligible to donate blood:

  • HIV positive
  • HIV - risk of infection
  • Hepatitis after age 11
  • Jaundice after age 11
  • Creutzfeldt Jacob Disease or family history of Creutzfeldt Jacob Disease
  • Growth hormone made from human pituitary glands
  • Organ Transplant
  • History of Leukemia or Lymphoma


The following conditions temporarily restrict you from donating blood:

  • Smallpox
  • Received a smallpox vaccination in the past 56 days
  • Had complications (rash, eczema, swelling or excessive redness around the vaccination site) from the smallpox vaccination - wait an additional 14 days from the resolution of the complications.
  • Close contact with the vaccination site of someone else in the past 3 months
  • SARS
  • Ill with SARS 28 day wait from resolution of symptoms
  • Travel to areas affected by SARS 14 day wait from the date of departure from the area
  • Cared for or had direct contact with a SARS patient 14 day wait from the last date of conduct
  • Heart Disease angioplasty (with or without stents) Heart Attack 6 month wait
  • Antibiotics 48 hour wait from last dose
  • Injectable 7 day wait
  • Malaria travel (visited country with malarial risk) - 1 year wait
  • Vaccinations
  • Measles 1 month wait
  • Mumps 1 month wait
  • Rubella - 1 month wait
  • Hepatitis B series (Energix, Heptavax, etc) 48 hour wait after each dose
  • Smallpox 56 day wait
  • Colds and Flu
  • Severe Sore Throat wait until symptom free
  • Productive Cough wait until symptom free
  • Temperature wait until symptom free
  • Cancer 5 year wait after treatment complete (Skin Cancer - basal cell or squamous cell acceptable; Carcinoma in-situ of cervix acceptable)
  • Epilepsy/convulsions must be seizure free for 6 months
  • Pregnancy (after delivery, miscarriage, abortion) 6 week wait
  • Medical Procedures
  • Surgery without transfusion, depends on the type of surgery, otherwise, must have recovered and be free of infection
  • Coronary Artery Bypass 1 year wait
  • Bone, tendon, or corneal graft 1 year wait
  • Surgery with transfusion of blood or blood components   1 year wait
  • Other Possible Restrictions
  • Tattoos - 12 month wait
  • Ear or skin piercing - 12 month wait
  • Acupuncture - 12 month wait


You Can Not Get AIDS From Donating Blood

Only sterile, disposable equipment is used throughout the donation process, which makes it virtually impossible to contract any disease from donating blood.

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