Donor Health Conditions
Most health conditions are acceptable for donation with the following exceptions:
Women must not donate during pregnancy or for six weeks following pregnancy.
Cancer Solid tumors
No donating during diagnosis or treatment of cancer, or for 2 years following end of treatment and cure. These include breast, colon, pancreas, thyroid, lung, liver, etc.
Permanent deferral from donating for any type of blood, lymphoid, or bone marrow tumor.
Basal cell and squamous cell OK after removal. Malignant melanoma defer for two years following end of treatment and complete cure.
The following conditions may result in deferral from donating:
- Congestive heart failure
- Aortic valve disease (not corrected by surgery)
- Chest pain (unexplained)
- Coronary artery disease with angina
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Implantable pacemaker and/or defibrillator
- History of heart attack with permanent heart damage
- Irregular heart rhythm
The following conditions will result in deferral from donating:
- Active TB on treatment
- Other active lung infections
- COPD on oxygen
- Emphysema on oxygen
- Asthma with symptoms
Transfusion or transplant
Three-month deferral if organ or donor tissue was received in the last 12 months.
- Active cold on day of donation
- Flu or diarrhea within two days of donation – must be feeling well and healthy
- Chagas disease (parasite of Central and South America)
- Babesiosis (parasite infection of red blood cells; found in ticks in the Northeast and upper Midwest of the U.S.)
- Hepatitis B and hepatitis C
- Syphilis – past history is OK if treated, but if your blood continues to have a positive test you may not be able to donate
- Malaria in the past three years, or untreated malaria
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) risks
This devastating disease of the central nervous system occurs in one in one million individuals. It can be spread through families, so if you have a family member that died from CJD, you are not eligible to donate blood. It is unknown if CJD is transmitted through blood transfusion or not. It is also spread by contact with tissues from infected individuals (corneas, dura mater, brain tissue, pituitary glands).
***VARIANT CREUTZFELDT-JAKOB DISEASE (VCJD) RISKS
vCJD is similar to CJD, but associated with eating beef from cattle infected with mad cow disease. It can also be spread by transfusion from infected individuals. You are considered at risk for vCJD if you lived in the following areas:
- United Kingdom and associated territories from 1980 to 1996 (for three cumulative months or more) – indefinite deferral from donating blood
- Ireland or France from 1980 to 2001 (for five cumulative years or more) – indefinite deferral from donating blood
If you have traveled outside the United States in the last year, you may be at risk for malaria and will be deferred for three months.
Please contact our Donor Notification Department at 1-888-480-8200 to see if the country or area you traveled to is considered a malaria risk. Or you can check the CDC website to see if the area you visited is considered a malaria risk: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/.
Please do not rely on whether or not you were advised to take anti-malarial medications to determine your risk. Some tour operators are not pro-active about telling guests that they are going to a malaria endemic area.
Additionally, if you are an individual who formerly lived in a malarial area before coming to the United States, you must wait 3 years before donating blood, after every trip to a malarial area. Persons who resided in an endemic area may develop a partial immunity to malaria that can blunt symptoms of the disease and delay diagnosis.
HIV and Hepatitis Risks
The following behaviors may put you at risk for blood or body fluid exposure and increase your risk of HIV and/or hepatitis B and C. If you have been diagnosed with HIV, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C, you may not donate blood.
The following behaviors require a three-month deferral period before giving blood:
- Exposure to another person’s blood in a cut, a sore, or on mucous membranes
- Accidental needle stick
- A tattoo at an unregulated parlor, or by a friend, or in prison
- Ear or body piercing at an unregulated facility, or by a friend, or in prison
- Partner with HIV infection or HIV-positive test or HIV risk
- Exchanging money or drugs for sex
- Male who has had sex with another male even once
- Use of needles to take unprescribed, or illegal, drugs
The following behaviors require a 12-month deferral period before giving blood:
- Jail time for more than 72 hours
- New diagnosis of syphilis or gonorrhea (marker for a high-risk partner)
- Partner with active hepatitis
Most medications are acceptable for donation. The list below contains the only ones that will NOT permit you to donate. For questions, call the Donor Notification Department or Medical Services. NOTE: Do not discontinue medications without consulting your physician.
Antibiotics for treatment of current infection (current use)
- Exception: Topical (surface) treatment for fungus (e.g. toenails)
- Note: The the infection is the risk, not the medication. Do not stop taking any medication to become eligible to donate. You must finish the entire dose of antibiotic and be free of symptoms before you can donate.
Acitretin (Soriatane®) (used in the last 3 years) – Taken for severe psoriasis
Aspirin or drugs containing aspirin (used in the last 2 days) – PLATELET DONORS ONLY. This includes “baby” aspirin
Clopidogrel (Plavix®) (used in the last 14 days) – PLATELET DONORS ONLY. Anti-platelet drug
Dutasteride (Avodart® or Jalyn®) (used in the last 6 months) – Taken for prostate enlargement
Etretinate (Tegison®) (used ever) – Taken for severe psoriasis
Finasteride (Proscar®) (used in the last 1 month) – Taken for prostate enlargement
Finasteride (Propecia®) (used in the last 1 month) – Taken for hair loss
Heparin (used in the last 7 days) – Taken to prevent blood clots
Isotretinoin (Accutane®, Absorica®, Amnesteem®, Claravis®, Myorisan®, Sotret®, Zenatane®) (used in the last 1 month) – Taken for acne treatment
Piroxicam (Feldene®) (used in the last 2 days) – Anti-inflammatory drug
Prasugrel (Effient®) (used in the last 1 month) – PLATELET DONORS ONLY. Anti-platelet drug
Ticlopidine (Ticlid®) (used in the last 14 days) – PLATELET DONORS ONLY. Anti-platelet drug
Warfarin (Coumadin, Warfilone, Jantoven) (used in the last 7 days) – Taken to prevent blood clots
Insulin derived from cattle (bovine insulin) – If you have EVER taken insulin made from British cattle, you could be at risk for mad cow disease. Most insulin is recombinant these days (e.g. made in the laboratory) and would be acceptable. Other insulin has been made from pork. Beef insulin has not been available in the U.S. since 1998.
Growth hormone made from human pituitary glands – If you ever took this injected medication (probably in the 1980s or earlier) you are permanently deferred from donating. Current growth hormone formulations are recombinant (made in the laboratory). Growth hormone of this type is generally administered to children with slow growth. Oral supplement growth hormone does not count.
Clotting factor concentrates – These are IV medicines that prevent bleeding. If you have EVER used clotting factor concentrates, you cannot donate. They are most commonly used for hemophilia or von Willebrand’s disease – inherited bleeding diseases. It would be very rare or unheard of to have gotten them only once. Do not confuse them with anti-clotting medicines used around the time of surgery. Clotting factor concentrates used to be made from large pools of donor blood when there was a high risk of HIV and hepatitis from such pools.
Hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) (administration in the last year) – This is a medication only administered after suspected exposure to hepatitis B. Do not get confused with hepatitis B vaccine. The reason for the deferral from donation is the exposure to the hepatitis B, not the immune globulin itself.
Unlicensed vaccines or unlicensed medications in a study – If you got a vaccine or medication in the last year that is not yet FDA licensed, you need to wait to donate. Some persons may be given these drugs under an approved study designed to win licensure for the vaccine or medication. On the other hand, if you are getting a medication that is already FDA approved in a study, and the study is just looking at a new indication or dose, you may donate unless the drug is elsewhere on this list.
The following vaccines require a two week deferral from donation:
- Measles (rubeola), Mumps, Oral polio, Oral Typhoid and Yellow fever
The following vaccines require a four week deferral from donation:
- Rubella (German measles) and Varicella (Chicken pox/shingles)
The following vaccine requires at least an eight week deferral from donation:
Please see the section on medications for research vaccines.