Eligibility to Donate
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) governs eligibility requirements for donors at all blood donation centers in the United States. Donated blood is thoroughly tested for diseases that are transmitted through blood. In addition, careful screening of individuals prior to donation optimizes the safety of the nation’s blood supply. Before individuals can donate blood, they are carefully screened by donation center staff. All information provided is strictly confidential.
Blood donors must meet these, as well as other, criteria:
- Be at least 17 years of age.
- Weigh at least 110 pounds.
- Be in good health (not suffering from any infection) and feel well on the day of donation.
- Not have a history of hepatitis after age 11, nor close contact with anyone with hepatitis within the last year.
- Not be taking antibiotics (except for treatment of acne).
- Donors who take Accutane, Proscar or Propecia are not eligible to donate.
- Be cancer-free for the past five years (treatment for localized skin cancer is permitted).
- Never have used intravenous drugs.
- Have no history of HIV/AIDS.
Common reasons for a temporary deferral include:
- Tattoos, permanent make-up or needle sticks (within the past year).
- Ear and body piercings are OK if done with a sterile, single-use needle (one year deferral if other methods used).
- Travel to a malarial area within the past year.
- Pregnancy (delivery within six weeks of donation).
What if I can't donate?
Don't let the blood donation eligibility requirements discourage you from supporting care for our patients. You can host your own blood drive or take look at our Events and Promotions page to find an event near you. Please call the Blood Donor Facility at 310-423-5346 to learn more about organizing your own blood drive.