Donate Blood

Who Can Donate

To ensure the safety of blood donation for both donors and recipients, all volunteer blood donors must be evaluated to determine their eligibility to give blood.

To give blood you must:

  • Be in general good health.
  • Be at least 17 years old. (If you are 16 you can donate with a CBC consent form signed by your parent). There is no upper age limit as long as you have no health restrictions.
  • Weigh at least 110 pounds.
  • Have a photo ID. (It's helpful to also have your CBC Donor ID card).

Before donating you should:

  • Get a good night's sleep.
  • Eat a nourishing meal.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
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How long before you can donate again:

Donation Type

Frequency

Whole blood donation 56 days (8 weeks)
Platelet donation 7 days (up to 24 times a year)
Plasma donation 28 days (4 weeks)
Double Red Blood Cells donation 112 days (16 weeks)

Why you may NOT be allowed to give blood:

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Your Health

  • Hepatitis after age 11.
  • IV drug use (even one time).
  • Anyone with symptoms or laboratory evidence of AIDS or who are considered to have an increased risk for contracting AIDS.

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Your Travel

  • Anyone who has spent more than three months in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man, Gibraltar, or the Falkland Islands) from 1980 through 1996, or who have received beef insulin since 1980.
  • Since 1980, anyone who has spent five or more years in Europe (including the U.K.).
  • Anyone who has spent six months or more associated with military bases in Europe from 1980 through 1996.

Why you may NOT be allowed to give blood RIGHT NOW:

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Your Health

  • Cold or flu symptoms, including a cough, sore throat and/or fever.
  • 24 hour deferral period after certain dental work, including root canal, oral surgery, extraction of wisdom teeth. (You must be asymptomatic in all instances and all packing must be removed).
  • Pregnancy, miscarriage or abortion. There is a six week deferral period  after delivery or termination
    of pregnancy.
  • Blood Transfusion - defer one year.
  • Malaria - defer for three years after last symptoms.
  • Mononucleosis - must be fully recovered. 
  • Dental - Packing and sutures must be removed.
  • Mononucleosis - Must be fully recovered and no incidence of jaundice.

 

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Your Travel

  • Travel to certain countries may prevent you from donating blood, temporarily.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has strict policies in place to prevent the theoretical risk of spreading mad cow disease in the blood supply. Check with CBC if you have traveled to the United Kingdom and Europe.
  • Travel to Central America, South America, Africa and China can mean a one year deferral due to
    high concentrations of certain diseases,
    including malaria.
  • Check with your blood center if you have questions about these common travel-related deferrals.

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Your Medications

  • Most medications taken within 24 hours
    are acceptable. 
  • Antibiotics are not acceptable within 24 hours
    of a donation. (Unless being taken for prevention, e.g. acne or roasacea).
  • Consult with a nursing supervisor or mobile blood drive team leader about the deferral period if you have received immunizations or injections.
  • If symptom free, there is no deferral period for the flu vaccine or pneumonia vaccine.
  • Donors with well-established (not recently diagnosed) diabetes controlled by diet, oral medications and/or insulin therapy are eligible
    to donate.
  • Donors with controlled high blood pressure by diet, oral medications are eligible to donate. 
  • Live vaccines may prevent you from donating blood. You may be deferred for up to one month if you have recently received measles, mumps or rubella vaccinations.
  • The flu vaccine contains dead viruses and is not cause for deferral.
  • For live vaccines, contact CBC for vaccinations other than flu or pneumonia.
  • Shingles, Hepatitis B vaccine and Botox are all one-month deferalls.
  • There are multiple vaccines that are two-week deferrals.

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 Your Body Art

  • Ear or Body Piercing under non-sterile conditions - one year deferral.
  • Tattoo - one year deferral, unless performed in a licensed tattoo parlor in Ohio or Kentucky.

Other health or travel questions you may have

Ask a CBC professional about:

  • History of Yellow Jaundice not associated with Hepatitis. 
  • History of heart disease, heart attack, stroke or open heart surgery.
  • Kidney disease.
  • Diagnosis, treatment or positive test for a sexually transmitted disease. 
  • Hepatitis exposure. 
  • History of cancer.
  • Travel outside the U.S. or Canada in the last 12 months. 
  • If stationed in Europe with the military between 1980 and 1996. 
  • For more specific eligibility information, nursing supervisors may be contacted at 1-800-388-4483 or via email at: canidonate@cbccts.org.

You CANNOT get AIDS from Donating Blood

Only sterile, disposable equipment is used throughout the donation process, which makes it virtually impossible to contract a disease from donating blood.