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 weight 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)
Taking certain medications:
- Accutane wait 30 days after last treatment
- Antibiotics wait 1 day from last dose
- Arava wait 1 month from last dose
- Cortisone check for eligibility based on condition
- Lupron Depot wait 1 month from last dose
- Proscar/Propecia wait 1 month from last dose
Cold or flu-like symptoms – wait until symptoms are gone for 48 hours
Cold sore (fever blister) – wait until sore is crusted over
Diarrhea – wait until symptoms are gone for 48 hours
Heart attack – wait 1 year (tentatively)
Heart surgery (closed ablation or stent) – wait 6 months
Heart surgery (open) – wait 1 year
Herpes – wait until lesions are gone
Influenza – wait two weeks following recovery, 96 hours for exposure, wait seven days after symptoms are gone for unconfimred influenza
Lung disease – check for eligibility
Pregnancy – wait 6 weeks after delivery
Sexually transmitted diseases – wait 1 year after treatment
Surgery – wait until full recovery
Stroke – wait 1 year (tentatively)
Tattoo – wait 2 months if in a state licensed facility in TN, AR, MS or AL, DE, GA, HI, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MI, MN, MT, NH, NJ, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, SC, SD, TX, VA, WA, WV, WI
- if tattoo was done in another state wait 1 year
Piercings/acupuncture – wait 1 year
Tooth extraction/root canal – wait 3 days
Tick bite – wait 1 month
Travel to malaria-risk countries – wait 1 year after return
Veneral disease – wait 1 year after treatment
Anti-coagulant therapy – consult your physician
Reasons restricting you from ever giving
AIDS or HIV positive
Heart disease (if symptomatic or physically restrictive)
Hepatitis (after age 10)
Hodgkin’s disease
Jaundice (after age 10)
Liver 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

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.