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
Malignant melanoma, leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease – Permanent Deferral
Localized skin cancer (basal cell or squamous cell) - Acceptable if completely excised and healed
Cervical carcinoma in-situ – Acceptable
Diagnosed Grade Zero – Eligible 1 year post-procedure
All others must be in remission at least 5 years
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
Eligible to donate 6 weeks after delivery
Cold or Flu – Not eligible until symptom free for 2 days
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
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
Waiting period is one year from the date of tattoo
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 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
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 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 (if spent more than 24 hours in risk area) – Deferral period is 12 months after departure
*If on a cruise ship and spent less than 24 hours in port, you may be eligible
Residence (lived > 5 years) in a malaria risk area – Deferral period is 3 years after departure
History of illicit drug use using a needle (including steroids)
Growth hormone injections (Human 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