If you ask a person if they have ever donated blood and the reply is negative, the response often includes, “I didn’t think I could because…” There are many assumptions and misconceptions about eligibility or ineligibility of blood donation. Versiti is a great resource to answer those questions.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a person 17+, feeling healthy and at least 110 pounds is eligible unless they are considered high risk for blood borne infections which includes:
- Anyone who has used injected drugs, steroids or another substance not prescribed by a doctor in the past three months.
- Men who have had sexual contact with other men in the past three months.
- Anyone who has a congenital coagulation factor deficiency.
- Anyone who has had a positive test for HIV.
- Anyone who has engaged in sex for money or drugs in the past three months.
- Anyone who, in the past 12 months, has had close contact with — lived with or had sexual contact with — a person who has viral hepatitis.
- Anyone who has had babesiosis, a rare and severe tick-borne disease, or the parasitic infection Chagas’ disease.
- Anyone who has taken the psoriasis medication Etretinate (Tegison), which has been discontinued in the U.S.
- Anyone who received a blood transfusion in the United Kingdom or France from 1980 to the present.
Some relevant updates:
COVID-19: The Food and Drug Administration suggests waiting to donate blood for at least 14 days after a positive diagnostic test for COVID-19 without symptoms or for at least 14 days after symptoms of COVID-19 have completely cleared up.
COVID-19 Vaccine: Individuals must wait two days after the day of vaccination to donate blood or platelets.
Dental work: Donation is acceptable after routine teeth cleaning or dental work.
Diabetes: Only insulin dependent individuals who have used Bovine insulin are not eligible to donate blood.
Mad Cow disease: As of Aug. 16, 2022, following recent FDA guidance, vCJD geographic risk deferrals will end for individuals who spent time in U.K. or Europe. vCJD is commonly referred to as “Mad Cow disease.”
Medications: Most medications do not prevent you from donating blood. Common medications — such as those used to control blood pressure, birth control pills and over-the-counter medications — do not affect your eligibility. If you’re taking antibiotics, you must complete the course before donating. For more information about other medications, see Versiti.org.
Tattoos or Piercing: Getting a tattoo or piercing recently from a licensed establishment does not make you ineligible to donate blood.
Travel: Most travel is acceptable. There are certain countries and popular travel destinations that are malaria risk areas. If you’ve traveled to these areas, we’ll ask you to wait 3 months before you donate.
Did this answer your question? Please consider giving the gift of your blood this holiday season. It would be a gift that won’t affect your credit card bill, we promise.
Upcoming Community Blood Drive at NCH
Join us between 12 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, November 29, in Rooms 6 and 7 of the main hospital to donate blood. Many appointments remain open. To make an appointment online, please visit https://bit.ly/Blood-Drive-11-29-22. Appointments are preferred; however, walk-ins are welcome. Photo ID and mask are required. NCH works with Versiti Blood Center of Illinois and has scheduled the next blood drive on Dec. 21.