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. At time of donation, you will be asked to indicate sex at birth even if different than your gender identity. Eligibility rules to determine a safe donation are based on male or female sex at birth.
You and Your Donation Are Important to Us
Before donating, one of our medical professionals will discuss your health history with you in a private, confidential setting. After taking your pulse, blood pressure, and temperature and checking for anemia, we will determine whether you are eligible to be a donor.
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 by 16 year olds; 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.
We require that you provide identification that shows your name and your photograph or signature.
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 3 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.
- Have used injectable drugs, including anabolic steroids, unless prescribed by a physician 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.
- In the past 3 months have had sexual contact with a new partner and have had anal sex.
- In the past 3 months have had sexual contact with more than one partner and have had anal sex.
- Have taken certain medications.
Blood donors must wait at least 56 days between blood donations and seven 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 seven days before donating blood.
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. If you have any questions, call us at 212-639-7648 or email [email protected].
Donor eligibility rules are established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as state regulatory agencies.