ASBP: Can I Donate? - General guidelines and restrictions
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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 regulatory requirements, AABB standards, and Department of Defense 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 to 116 pounds. (Weight minimum varies slightly depending on the location and type of donation)
  • 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 — a dormancy — 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 years3-month deferral upon return
Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and other malaria-endemic areas, more than 5 consecutive years3-year deferral upon return
North of Seoul, Korea (the 37.7 parallel), if traveled between March-December, due to malaria3-month deferral
Iraq, Afghanistan, and other leishmania-endemic areas12-month deferral upon return
Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands, Gibraltar, Falkland Islands, Isle of Man) from January 1980-December 1996 for a cumulative time of 3 months or more.

France or Ireland from 1980-2001 for a cumulative time of 5 years or greater.
Indefinite deferral

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-up3 months after getting the piercing, brand, tattoo or permanent make-up in a non-state regulated business.


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 a) applied using sterile needles and one-time use ink and b) in a state-regulated entity in one of the following states:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, 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 pregnancy.
Cold or FluEligible to donate once you have been feeling well for 3 days.
Blood Transfusion3 months following transfusion.
Hemophilia/Blood Clotting Disorders requiring ongoing treatment with clotting factor concentratesPermanent deferral
HIV Risk
  • Male donors who have had sex with another male
  • Female donors who have had sex with a male who has had sex with another male
  • Those who have exchanged sex for money or drugs
  • Those who have a history of sex with a person who has ever exchanged sex for money or drugs
  • Those who have had sex with someone who has ever tested positive for HIV
  • Those who have engaged in non-prescription injection drug use
  • Those who have had sex with anyone who has engaged in non-prescription injection drug use
  • Those who have had blood transfusions
  • Those who have had contact with the blood of another individual through percutaneous inoculation such as needle sticks or contact with open wound/mucous membranes
3 months
Positive HIV TestPermanent deferral
Viral Hepatitis at age 11 or overPermanent deferral
Positive Hepatitis TestPermanent deferral
Syphilis or gonorrheaDeferred 3 months after completion of treatment.

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Whole blood donations only.
Platelet donations can be made
up to 24 times per year.