Who Can Donate Blood?

Who Can Donate Blood?

If you have more specific questions regarding your eligibility,
please contact Miller-Keystone Blood Center’s Donor Collections
Department at 1-800-B-A-DONOR.

The following conditions may affect your eligibility to donate blood:

Donors must be 16 years of age or older. State law requires written consent by a parent or guardian for 16-year-olds to donate blood.
16-year-old Consent Form (8/21)

Persons 17 years of age or older (or certain emancipated minors) may donate without consent of a parent or guardian (unless required by their high school).

Anyone diagnosed with Babesiosis is not eligible to donate.

Blood Exposure / Accidental Needle Stick
A person who has been exposed to someone else’s blood is deferred for three (3) months following the date of exposure.

Anyone with the following types of cancer may donate:  Squamous or Basal Cell Carcinoma of the skin, and those with Melanoma may be eligible after evaluation by our Medical Director.

Persons with other forms of cancer may donate one (1) year after recovery.

Individuals with Blood Cancer (leukemia or lymphoma) are not eligible to donate.

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

COVID-19 / Coronavirus Vaccine
Individuals receiving the COVID-19 vaccine or the Monoclonal Antibody Infusion are accepted for whole blood, red cell, platelet or plasma donation. (please be prepared to confirm which vaccine you received – manufacturer and date)

Potential donors with diabetes are eligible as long as it is controlled. Those who have ever taken bovine insulin are not eligible to donate.

Electrolysis or Acupuncture
Persons receiving electrolysis or acupuncture treatment are eligible to donate.

Flu Shot
Persons receiving a flu shot are eligible to donate as long as they are not currently experiencing any signs or symptoms of the flu.

Anyone who has lived with, or had sexual contact with a person with Hepatitis, may not donate.

Heart Disease
Those with heart disease 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.

Individuals cannot donate if they have taken any medication orally (by mouth) to prevent HIV infection in the past three (3) months. Individuals who have taken an injection/shot to prevent HIV infection are deferred for two (2) years from the date of injection. Potential donors who have had sexual contact in the past three (3) months with anyone who has HIV/AIDS, or has had a positive test for the HIV/AIDS virus, is deferred for three (3) months from the date of last sexual contact. Donors who have ever taken any medication to treat an HIV infection are deferred indefinitely.

Individuals registering to donate must provide valid identification, such as a driver’s license or your MKBC Donor ID.  If you are unable to provide identification when you arrive for your donation, we will ask you to reschedule your appointment.

Illegal Drug Use
A person who has used needles in the past three (3) months to take drugs, steroids, or anything not prescribed by their doctor, is deferred for three (3) months from the date of last use.

Lyme Disease
Potential donors who have been diagnosed with Lyme Disease are eligible to donate 30 days after diagnosis, and after they have completed antibiotic treatment.

Medications (Antibiotics)
Persons taking antibiotics for acne, rosacea or prophylactically (such as prior to dental work) are eligible to donate. Persons taking antibiotics for any other reason are eligible to donate the day after their last dose if no longer experiencing signs or symptoms of infection.

There are a handful of medications that may prevent you from donating blood, either temporarily or permanently.  Please refer to the following Medication Deferral List for more information: 

Medication Deferral List_Aug2023                                Medication Deferral List Definitions

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

Piercing (Ear or Body)
Unless performed at a facility on our approval list or at an established tattoo facility in the state of New Jersey, those who have received an ear or body piercing within the last three (3) months are not eligible for three (3) months from the date of most recent piercing.
Piercing Approved Facility List

Previous Donors
Whole Blood – Can be donated every 56 days, up to six (6) times per year
Platelets – Can be donated every 8 days, up to twenty-four (24) times per year
Plasma – Can be donated every 28 days
Super Red Cell / Automated Double Red Cells  – Can be donated every 112 days

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

Recent Surgery
Persons who have recently undergone surgery are eligible if they have completely recovered, are no longer under a doctor’s care for the condition, and a blood transfusion was not necessary. However, major surgical procedures may require longer deferral periods.

Sexual History
Anyone who has received money, drugs, or other payment for sex in the past 3 months is deferred for three (3) months from the last date they received money, drugs or other payment for sex. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) also requires that blood centers defer male donors who have had sexual contact with another male within the past three (3) months.

A person is eligible for donation if it has been three (3) months since any of the following:

  • Receiving money, drugs, or other payment for sex
  • Sexual contact with a prostitute or anyone who has ever taken money or drugs or other payment for sex
  • Sexual contact with anyone who has ever had HIV/AIDS or has ever has had a positive test for the HIV/AIDS virus
  • Used needles to take drugs steroids or anything not prescribed by their doctor
  • Any female who has had sexual contact with a male who had sexual contact with another male in the past three (3) months
  • Completion of treatment for a sexually-transmitted disease, such as syphilis or gonorrhea

If you have had a Smallpox vaccination, you may not donate for 56 days following the vaccination date. In addition, those who have been exposed to someone who has had the vaccination must also wait 56 days.

You are eligible to donate if a tattoo was applied at a medical facility and/or by a state regulated entity (eg. New Jersey) and is completely healed.  Tattoos applied by a non-state regulated entity require a three (3) month deferral.

Transfusion / Transplant / Graft
Potential donors are eligible if three (3) months or more has elapsed since the blood transfusion, transplant (such as organ tissue or bone marrow), and/or graft (such as bone or skin).

If your own blood was used for your transfusion, you may be eligible sooner.

Xenotransplant is when persons receive “Living Cells” from a different animal species such as ape or pig.  You are not eligible to donate if you had a xenotransplant.  However, you are eligible to donate if you have received bovine heart valves, dura mater, porcine heart valves, or similar non-living material.

Eligibility guidelines related to travel outside the country change periodically, and require individual evaluation for possible exposure to various infectious diseases, such as Malaria. 

Currently, a three (3) month deferral is required for visits to areas of the world deemed at risk for acquiring malaria by the CDC, and there is a three (3) year deferral following recovery from malaria.

Click here for additional information outlining temporary and/or indefinite deferrals as a result of travel.

Donors must weigh a minimum of 110 pounds.

Why does Miller-Keystone Blood Center have these requirements?
Miller-Keystone’s #1 priority is safety – of the blood supply and of our blood donors!
Donation requirements are regulated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and help ensure
your blood is safe for patients and that it is safe for you to donate.

Click Here For Our Blood Donor Education Materials – December 2022

Click here for additional information on Blood Donation Eligibility from
AABB – the Association for Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies

updated 9.21.2023