ASBP: Can I Donate? - General guidelines and restrictions
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CAN I DONATE?

Most healthy adults are eligible to give blood, however, there are some reasons a person may be deferred from donating temporarily, indefinitely, or permanently. Deferral criteria have been established for the protection of those donating and for those receiving transfusions in accordance with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory requirements, AABB standards, and Department of Defense (DoD) policies. A temporary deferral should not discourage donors from coming back. We always need donors!

General Guidelines

In general, to donate blood you should:
  • Weigh at least 110 pounds
  • Be at least 17 years of age (age may vary by state, contact your local ASBP blood donor center for details)
  • Have been feeling well for at least three days
  • Be well hydrated
  • Have eaten something prior to donating

Bone Marrow and Organ Donation

The blood donor travel-related deferral criteria do not apply to organ and bone marrow/hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) donation. Those ineligible to donate blood due to travel to disease-prevalent areas may still be eligible to donate organs and bone marrow. Visit the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network for information on becoming an organ donor and the C.W. Bill Young Department of Defense Marrow Donor Program to learn how to join the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry - yet another way to save a life!



Travel Restrictions

There are some specific conditions and activities that may prevent a potential donor from being eligible to donate. One reason is travel to areas where illnesses are or have been prevalent. Though most travelers will not become ill, there is a period of time where a traveler may be infected, but not display symptoms. To ensure the health of blood recipients, travelers are deferred from donating until the window where symptoms may appear has passed. See the table below for specific countries of interest.

Country/RegionDonation Restriction
Afghanistan, Tajikistan and other malaria-endemic areas, less than 5 consecutive years12 months deferral upon return
Afghanistan, Tajikistan and other malaria-endemic areas, more than 5 consecutive years3 years deferral upon return
Iraq, Afghanistan and other leishmania-endemic areas12 months deferral upon return
United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands, Gibralter, Falkland Islands, Isle of Man) from January 1980 - December 1996 for a cumulative time of 3 months or more OR from January 1980 - present for a cumulative time of 5 years or moreIndefinite deferral
Belgium, Netherlands (Holland) or Germany from January 1980 - December 1990 for a cumulative time of 6 months or more OR from January 1980 – present for a cumulative time of 5 years or more Indefinite deferral
Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Portugal or Saudi Arabia from January 1980 – December 1996 for a cumulative time of 6 months or more OR from January 1980 – present for a cumulative time of 5 years or moreIndefinite deferral
Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Luxemborg, Macedonia, Montenegro, Netherlands (Holland), Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and Yugoslavia from January 1980 – present for a cumulative time of 5 years or more Indefinite deferral
North of Seoul, Korea (the 37.7 parallel) for less than 5 consecutive years2 year deferral upon return
North of Seoul, Korea (the 37.7 parallel) for 5 consecutive years or more3 year deferral upon return
KuwaitThere is no deferral for this travel
QatarThere is no deferral for this travel


Medical and Other Restrictions

Issue/ConditionDonation Restriction
Previous Donation8 weeks after last whole blood donation. Please contact your local ASBP blood donor center.
Piercing, Brand, Tattoo and Permanent Make-up12 months after getting the piercing, brand, tattoo or permanent make-up.

Exceptions:

1) There is no deferral for ear piercings performed using sterile, single-use equipment.

2) Some donors may be eligible to donate one week after adequate healing of the tattoo or permanent make-up if 1) applied using sterile needles and one time use ink and 2) in a state-regulated entity in one of the following states:


Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont , Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Acupuncture12 months after having acupuncture.

Exception: If Acupuncture was performed by a licensed provider, using single-use equipment under aseptic conditions, and the underlying condition is not cause for deferral, you may be eligible to donate. Please contact your local ASBP blood donor center for more details.
Recent ImmunizationsSome immunizations do not restrict your ability to donate while others carry up to a 12-month deferral. Contact your local ASBP blood donor center for details on the deferral period for a particular immunization.
MedicationsMost medications do not disqualify donation. Contact your local ASBP blood donor center for details about deferral periods for a specific medication.
Medical ConditionsCertain medical conditions may restrict your ability to donate for a short or extended period. Contact your local ASBP blood donor center for details about deferral periods for a specific condition.
PregnancyDeferred until 6 weeks after the end of the pregnancy.
Cold or FluEligible to donate once you have been feeling well for 3 days.
Blood Transfusion12 months following transfusion
HIV Risk
  • Use of illegal or street drugs by needle, even once
  • Taking money or drugs for sex since 1977
  • Male to male sexual contact, even once, since 1977
  • Ongoing treatment with clotting factor concentrates for hemophilia or similar blood clotting disorders.
Permanent deferral
HIV Risk
  • Sexual contact with anyone at risk for AIDS
12 months after the contact
Positive HIV TestPermanent deferral
Viral Hepatitis at age 11 or overPermanent deferral
Positive Hepatitis TestPermanent deferral
Syphilis or gonorrheaDeferred 12 months after completion of treatment


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Whole blood donations only.
Platelet donations can be made
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