The following are general guidelines for blood donation. Note that they do not represent a complete list of possible deferrals. Please contact us at 716-512-7944 or visit one of our Neighborhood Blood Donation Centers for more detailed information (Southgate Plaza, Tonawanda Donation Center, Eastern Hills Mall, and Unyts 110 Broadway-Buffalo).

Whole Blood & Platelet
Minimum – 17 years of age (16 year olds may donate whole blood only with a Unyts signed parental consent. Download the consent packet here.

Maximum – No age limit
 
Minimum of 110 pounds
 
No minimum height
 
Double Red Cell
Minimum – 17 years of age
 
Maximum – no age limit
 
Males at least 5’1” 130 lbs. or greater
 
Females at least 5’5” 150 lbs or greater
 
Common Eligibility Criteria
 
Medical Conditions
Cancer -
Malignant melanoma, leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease – Permanent Deferral
Localized skin cancer (basal cell or squamous cell) or cervical carcinoma in-situ – Acceptable Diagnosed Grade Zero – Eligible 1 year post-procedure
All others must be in remission at least 5 years
 
Diabetes –
Oral medication – Acceptable
Single daily use injectable with an oral medication - Acceptable
Insulin – Insulin dependent diabetics are eligible for whole blood donation only as long as have NEVER taken Bovine insulin

High Blood Pressure –
Systolic 90-180 / Diastolic 50-100 range is Acceptable. Most BP medications are acceptable
 
Pregnancy –
Eligible to donate 6 weeks after delivery
 
Cold or Flu – Not eligible until symptom free for 2 days
 
Medical Procedures
Surgery –
Received a blood transfusion – Eligible 12 months after transfusion
No blood transfusion – Generally accepted after released from physician’s care, feel well, and resumed full activity
 
Bone or tissue graft –From self or synthetic: eligible when healed & released from physician’s care. From another person: eligible 12 months after graft. From an animal: Permanent Deferral

Piercings (Ear or Body)–
Sterile single use materials must have been used. If unknown, waiting period is one year from date of piercing.
 
Self-piercing – waiting period is one year from date of piercing
 
Tattoos –
Waiting period is one year from the date of tattoo
 
Medications 
Note: Most medications are not cause for deferral, though the underlying condition they are taken for may be. A complete evaluation can be made during donor screening or contact us for further information.
 
Aspirin – Acceptable for whole blood donations. Platelet and Platelet/Plasma donors must wait three days after last dose.
 
Antibiotics (oral) –Must have completed and be free from illness.  Generally OK if taken for acne and penicillin-free

Allergy shots – Can donate immediately

Vaccinations –
Flu – Can donate immediately
 
Gardasil – Can donate immediately
 
Hepatitis B – One day waiting period. If post-exposure, deferral is one year
 
Measles/Mumps/Rubella – Waiting period is 4 weeks
 
Pneumonia – Can donate immediately
 
Zostavax (herpes) – Waiting period is 4 weeks
 
Travel –
Travel within the US and Canada is acceptable. Some other travel destinations may require temporary waiting periods or may be cause for permanent deferral due to high risk for malaria, vCJD (mad cow disease), or HIV. A complete evaluation can be made during donor screening or contact us for further information.
 
Travel to malaria risk area – Deferral period is 12 months after departure

Residence (lived > 5 years) in a malaria risk area – Deferral period is 3 years after departure
 
Permanent/Indefinite Disqualifications:
 
History of illicit drug use using a needle (including steroids)
 
Human growth hormone injections (pituitary derived)
 
Spent 3 months or more (cumulative) in the United Kingdom between 1980 and 1996
 
Blood transfusion in the United Kingdom or France since 1980
 
Spent 5 years or more (cumulative) in Europe from 1980 to present
 
Spent 6 months or more (cumulative) associated with a military base (military member, civilian employee or dependent of a military member) in any of the following countries:
 
From 1980-1990 in Belgium, the Netherlands or Germany; From 1980-1996 in Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Italy or Greece