Are You Eligible to Donate

General Community Donor Eligibility Guidelines

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.

Acute Illness

Donors with symptoms of cold or flu, stomach virus, fever and/or sore throat are not eligible to donate blood until they are without symptoms.


Donors must be 17 years of age or older . There is no upper age limit for blood donors.


Anyone who has been diagnosed with Babesiosis is not eligible to donate blood.


Donors having the following types of cancer may donate: Squamous or Basal Cell Carcinoma of the skin. Donors with melanoma may be eligible to donate after evaluation by our Medical Director. Donors with blood cancer (leukemia or lymphoma) may not donate. Donors with other forms of cancer are eligible to donate one (1) year after recovery.

Chagas Disease

Any individual who has tested positive for Chagas Disease is not eligible to donate blood.


Donors with diabetes controlled with oral medication are acceptable/ Donors who have controlled their diabetes with insulin made before 1990 may have taken bovine insulin. Potential donors who have taken bovine insulin are not eligible to donate. Donors who have always used recombinant insulin are eligible to donate.

Electrolysis or Acupuncture

Donors receiving electrolysis or acupuncture treatment are eligible for blood donation.


Donors with a history of hepatitis (yellow jaundice) on or after their 11th birthday, may not donate unless the cause was not a virus. Intranasal cocaine use and exposure to someone with viral hepatitis are reasons for a one (1) year deferral. Administration of medication not prescribed to you, intravenously (IV) is reason for permanent deferral.

Heart Disease

Persons with heart or lung disease who have symptoms or activity restrictions should not donate. However, you may be eligible if you have recovered from cardiac, pulmonary (lung) or vascular surgery and have no physical restrictions; medical clearance from your physician may be required.


Any individual who has HIV/AIDS, has had a positive test for HIV/AIDS, or has come into sexual contact with someone diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, is not eligible to donate blood.

Illegal Drug Use

Anyone who has taken drugs or money for sex even once in the last year is not eligible to donate. Anyone using an IV needle for drugs they are not prescribed, even once, is not eligible do donate.

Lyme Disease

Individuals diagnosed with Lyme Disease are accepted if no longer under a doctors care.

Medications (Antibiotics)

Donors are accepted the day after the last dose, if recovered from the condition for which it was prescribed.

Antibiotics for skin condition: Donors are accepted.

Click here for a listing of medications that prevent you from donating blood.

Click here for a listing of medications that prevent you from donating platelets.

Piercing (Ear or Body)

Donors receiving an ear or body piercing may donate if the practitioner has been approved by the Medical Director, or if sterile, single-use equipment is used and a statement on letterhead from the facility performing the procedure is obtained. Click here for the most up-to-date listing of approved piercing locations.

Previous Donations

Individuals can donate whole blood up to six (6) times per year, and platelets on a more regular basis, up to 24 times per year.

Recent Pregnancy

Donors are accepted if six (6) weeks or more have elapsed since delivery (vaginal or C-section) and they are no longer under a doctor’s care, and a blood transfusion was not necessary. 

Recent Surgery

Donors are accepted if the donor has completely recovered and is no longer under a doctor’s care for the condition, and a blood transfusion was not necessary. Individual assessment by a screener is required.

Sexual History

Anyone who has taken drugs or money for sex even once is not eligible to donate.  The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) also requires that blood centers defer male donors who respond affirmatively to the question “have you had sex with another man, even once, since 1977.”

Sexually Transmitted Disease

Donors who have a sexually-transmitted disease, such as syphilis or gonorrhea, are deferred for one (1) year after completion of treatment. Donors with chlamydia are accepted if they are no longer under a doctor’s care.


If you have had a smallpox vaccination, you may not donate for 56 days following the vaccination date. In addition, you may not donate for 56 days if you have been exposed to someone who has had the vaccination.


Donors who have had a tattoo are deferred for one (1) year from the procedure.

Transfusion Related Acute Lung Injury (TRALI)

While causes of TRALI are still be researched, it is believed to be a reaction to antibodies found in blood. These antibodies will cause a donor no harm, however, it prohibits the donor from giving platelets and/or plasma, as that is where the antibodies reside. Individuals will still be accepted for red cell donations.

Research suggests that TRALI antibodies are more commonly found in females. MKBC is taking a proactive approach and is now screening all donors for suspected TRALI antibodies. Donors who have had any type of pregnancy, had a blood transfusion or a tissue transplant, will be testing beginning in early 2009. Any donor testing positive will be notified by the Blood Center.

Click here for more information.


Donors are accepted if one (1) year or more has elapsed since the transfusion.


Travel outside the country requires individual evaluation for possible exposure to infectious diseases such as Mad Cow Disease (vCJD), malaria and/or HIV/AIDS.

Click here for more detailed information on temporary and/or indefinite deferrals as a result of travel outside the United States.


Donors must weigh a minimum of 110 pounds.