Donating Blood & Platelets: General Blood/Platelet Donor Guidelines

Why Guidelines Are Important

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

You and Your Donation Are Important to Us

Details of each donor's health and activities are discussed in a private, confidential setting with one of our medical professionals before blood is donated. A final determination of an individual's suitability to donate blood/platelets is made at that time.

General Guidelines

To donate blood or platelets, you must be in good general health, weigh at least 110 pounds and be at least 16 years old. Parental consent is required for blood donation; 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, your physician's written approval is required 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. Individuals who have a chronic medical condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, may still be eligible as long as they are receiving treatment to control their condition.

Needed Identification

Before you donate blood or platelets, you will be asked to provide identification that shows your name and your photograph or signature.

What Conditions Would Make You Ineligible?

Certain conditions can prevent you from donating blood/platelets.

You may not donate blood/platelets if you:

  • Have a history of viral hepatitis, unexplained jaundice after age 11, or have lived with or had sexual contact in the past 12 months with anyone who has had active viral hepatitis.
  • Had a tattoo in the past 12 months or received a blood transfusion (except with your own blood) in the past 12 months.
  • Have ever had a positive test for the AIDS virus.
  • Are a man who has had sex with another man since 1977, even once.
  • Have ever used intravenous illegal drugs, even once.
  • Have ever used injectable drugs, including anabolic steroids, unless prescribed by a physician.
  • Have engaged in prostitution since 1977.
  • Have lived or visited in the United Kingdom for three months or more cumulatively between 1980 and 1996.
  • Have spent five years or more in Europe (including the United Kingdom) cumulatively from 1980 to the present.
  • Have traveled in the past year, or lived in the past three years, in an area where malaria is endemic.

Additional Criteria

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


Donor eligibility rules are established by the US Food and Drug Administration as well as state regulatory agencies.