Why Guidelines Are Important

Donor eligibility rules help to protect the health and safety of the donor as well as the person who will receive a blood transfusion. The general guidelines listed below will help you determine if you are eligible to donate blood or platelets.

General Guidelines

To donate blood or platelets, you must be in good general health, weigh at least 110 lb, and above 16 years old. Parental consent is required for blood donation by 16-year-olds are NOT eligible to donate platelets. No parental consent is required for those who are at least 17 years old. If you are 76 or older, you will need your doctor’s written approval for blood or platelet donation.

What Is ‘Good’ Health?

Good health means that you feel well and are able to carry out normal daily activities. If you have a chronic medical condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure, you may still be eligible as long as you are receiving treatment to control your condition.

What Conditions Would Make You Ineligible to Be a Donor?

You will not be eligible to donate blood or platelets if you:

  • Have tested positive for hepatitis B or hepatitis C, lived with or had sexual contact in the past 12 months with anyone who has hepatitis B or symptomatic hepatitis C.
  • Had a tattoo in the past 3 months or received a blood transfusion (except with your own blood) in the past 3 months.
  • Have ever had a positive test for the AIDS virus.
  • Are a man who has had sex with another man in the past 3 months.
  • Have used injectable drugs, including anabolic steroids, unless prescribed by a physician in the past 3 months.
  • Have engaged in prostitution in the past 3 months.
  • Have traveled in the past 3 months, or lived in the past three years, in an area where malaria is endemic.

Blood donors must wait at least 56 days between blood donations and 7 days before donating platelets. Platelet donors may donate once every seven days, not to exceed six times in any eight-week period, and must wait 7 days before donating blood.

Additional Criteria

It is important that you understand the criteria that permit you to donate blood or platelets. In addition to the general requirements listed above, please take the time to review Additional Donor Requirements.