Who Can Give

Requirements/Restrictions for Blood Donors

There are a few basic requirements that any prospective blood donor must meet: you must be in generally good health, be at least 17 years old (or 16 with parent’s consent), and weigh at least 115 pounds. Apheresis donations (platelets, double reds) have additional requirements. You can read about those processes here. Because blood donations are so important to the public health, the FDA strictly regulates them. This means that certain people cannot give or must wait for a certain period of time until they can give.
Reasons you may be asked to delay your donation
Blood exposure or Transfusion – wait 1 year
Cancer – wait 1 year after completion of treatment (if no recurrence, with some exceptions)
Taking certain medications:
– Accutane – wait 1 month from last treatment
– Antibiotics – wait 1 day from last dose
– Anti-coagulant therapy – wait 1 week from last dose
– Avodart – wait 6 months from last dose
– Proscar/Propecia – wait 1 month from last dose
– Plavix – wait 2 weeks from last dose if donating platelets
– Xarelto – wait 1 week from last dose
Heart attack – Donors must obtain physician approval prior to donating. See physician approval form here. For additional information, see the Heart Attack Memo.
Heart surgery (closed ablation or stent, no heart damage) – wait 6 months
Heart surgery (open, no heart damage) – wait 1 year
Lung disease – check for eligibility
Pregnancy – wait 6 weeks after delivery
Sexually transmitted diseases – wait 1 year after treatment
Surgery – wait until full recovery (if no transfusion)
Tattoo – wait 1 year if done in IN, MD, MA, NV, NY, PA, UT, WY
– if tattoo was done in licensed facility in another state no wait time
Piercings (excluding ear) – wait 1 year if done in IN, MD, MA, NV, NY, PA, UT, WY
– if piercing was done in licensed facility in another state no wait time
Travel to malaria-risk countries – wait 1 year after return
Reasons restricting you from ever giving
AIDS or HIV positive
Heart disease (if symptomatic or physically restrictive)
Viral Hepatitis (after age 10)
– Cancer, such as:
– Hodgkin’s disease
Self-injected drug use (non-prescription drugs)
Sickle cell disease (Sickle cell trait is accepted)
Travel to or residence in certain locations:
– UK countries, 1980-1996, for 3 months or more
– Europe, 1980-present, for 5 years or more
– Military bases in Germany, Belgium or the Netherlands, 1980-1990, for more than 6 months
– Military bases in Italy, Sicily, Greece, Portugal, Spain or Turkey, 1980-1996, for more than 6 months



Heart Attack Memo

In January 2015, Lifeblood adopted new donor screening policies. Donors with heart attack history or current pacemaker must obtain medical director approval prior to donating.

Donor safety is a top priority for Lifeblood, and donating blood could present unnecessary risk for some donors who have a history of heart problems.

To read the memo in full, click here.

To print the physician approval form, click here.


To help ensure the safety of donors and our blood supply, prospective donors are given mini-physicals and asked questions about their health history. If you have questions about your eligibility to donate blood, please call 901.529.6320 or 1.888.LIFEBLOOD.

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