Blood Donor Guidelines

Thank you for wanting to save lives across North, Central and East Texas. At Carter BloodCare, we know that giving and receiving blood is of the utmost importance. That's why we have strict Donor Guidelines to protect the safety of our donors and recipients.
All donors: Please provide personal photo identification. IDs must be issued by state (DL or ID), school or U.S. government (passport, military ID, resident alien ID, green card or work visa).

Age: At least 16 years of age and in good general health. Sixteen-year-olds must have written parental consent. There is no upper age limit.
Weight: Minimum of 110 pounds.
Medications: Cannot give if currently taking antibiotics for treatment. Cannot give if taking Accutane, Propecia or Proscar. Platelet donors cannot give if taking aspirin or Plavix. OK to give if taking vitamins, birth control, or medicine for: allergies, blood pressure, thyroid replacement, female hormones, anxiety or high cholesterol, as well as most other medications.
Eating: Eat a low-fat meal within two to four hours before giving.
Drinking: Drink lots of water or juice before and after donating. Avoid alcoholic beverages for 12 hours before and after donating.
Shots: OK after allergy shots, influenza vaccine, hepatitis A vaccine, tetanus shot.
Strenuous activity: Avoid for 12 hours after donating. Individuals with a hazardous or strenuous job should donate at the end of their work shift.
Cancer: OK to donate after curative treatment for basal cell skin cancer and squamous cell skin cancer. For melanoma and most solid tumors, including those due to breast cancer, it is OK to give two years after completion of all treatment. Exceptions are noted under "Permanent disqualifications."
Diabetes: OK if controlled by human or porcine insulin, oral medication or diet.
Temporary disqualifications
Cold/Flu/Don't feel well: One day symptom-free. Deferred until feeling well and healthy.
Pregnancy: OK to donate six weeks after end of pregnancy.
Earlobe piercing: OK to donate if performed with a single-use device. If not, wait one year.
Body and ear cartilage piercing: OK to donate, if performed in a Texas state–licensed facility. If not, wait one year.
Hepatitis B vaccine: OK to give two weeks after vaccine.
Tattoo: OK to donate if performed at a Texas state-licensed facility, otherwise wait one year from date of procedure.
Last blood donation: Eight weeks between whole blood donations. Seven days between platelet donations up to 24 times per year. Sixteen weeks between automated double red cell donations.
Blood transfusion or tissue transplant: None in the past year.
Malaria: One year following travel to malarial area as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you contract malaria, OK to donate three years after malaria is cured.
Permanent disqualifications
• AIDS/HIV infection or certain risk factors.
• History of heart attack.
• History of illicit drug use, including steroids, using a needle.
• Human growth hormone injections (pituitary derived).
• Viral hepatitis at age 11 or older.
• Lymphoma, leukemia, or other blood cancers.
• Diabetic who ever took bovine (beef) insulin injections.
• More than three months spent (cumulative) in the United Kingdom between 1980 and 1996.
• More than five years spent (cumulative) in Europe from 1980 to the present.
• Member of the U.S. military, a civilian military employee, or a dependent of a member of the U.S. military who was based in any of the following countries: Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany between 1980 through 1990 or in Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Italy or Greece between 1980–1996.
• Recipients of blood transfusions in the U.K. since 1980.

Please remember, even if you are permanently disqualified from giving blood, there are other ways you can support our community blood supply. Host a blood drive, volunteer, or recruit other blood donors. Every little bit helps!
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Contact us at: 1-800-366-2834