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 Resources Department at 1-800-B-A-DONOR.  

The following conditions may affect your eligibility to donate:

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-yr-old Consent Form

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.

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.

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.

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

Heart Disease
Those 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, or has tested positive for HIV/AIDS, is not eligible to donate blood. Potential donors who have had sexual contact in the past 12 months with anyone who has HIV/AIDS, or has had a positive test for the HIV/AIDS, virus is deferred for 366 days from the date of last sexual contact.

Illegal Drug Use
Anyone who has used needles to take drugs, steroids, or anything NOT prescribed by a doctor, even once, is not eligible.

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 if no longer experiencing signs or symptoms of infection. There are a handful of medications that may prevent you from donating. Please refer to our Medication Deferral List for more information.

Medication Deferral List

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 365 days are not eligible for (1) year.

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. Automated Red Cell – 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.  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 have had sexual contact with another man within the past 12 months.

Sexually Transmitted Disease
Those who have a sexually-transmitted disease, such as syphilis or gonorrhea, are deferred for one (1) year after completion of treatment.  Persons who have had chlamydia are eligible if they have completed treatment and 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, those who have been exposed to someone who has had the vaccination must also wait 56 days.

If your tattoo was applied at a medical facility (eg Cosmetic Surgeon), tattoo was medically removed and have no open wounds, or the tattoo was applied at an established tattoo facility in the state of New Jersey, you are eligible to donate blood.

However, if you had your tattoo applied in a state other than the state of New Jersey, you are not eligible for (1) year from the date the tattoo was applied.

Potential donors are eligible if one (1) year or more has elapsed since the transfusion. If your own blood was used for your transfusion, you may be eligible sooner.

Travel outside the country requires individual evaluation for possible exposure to infectious diseases such as Mad Cow Disease (vCJD)MalariaHIV/AIDSZIKA and/or Ebola.

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

Donors must weigh a minimum of 110 pounds.

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.


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! These requirements are in place and regulated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that your blood is safe for patients and that it is safe for you to donate.