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Eligibility Requirements

Most healthy people can donate blood. In about one hour, donors complete a short medical history, receive a mini-physical in which temperature, blood pressure and iron level are measured, recline comfortably for 5-10 minutes while donating, and enjoy light refreshments before leaving. Only disposable, single-use, sterile products are used to collect blood. Safety Note: You cannot contract bloodborne pathogens such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS by donating blood.

*Please eat a nutritious meal and drink extra fluids within 3 hours of donating.

  • 16 years of age - must present an Inova Blood Donor Services Consent Form (English or Spanish PDF) signed by a parent or legal guardian.
  • 17 years of age may donate without the consent of a parent or legal guardian
Generally in good health and feeling well on the day of donation
110 pounds minimum
Valid Photo ID (such as a driver’s license) must be presented

To give whole blood
Wait 56 days after a whole blood donation, 14 days after a platelet donation and 112 days after a double red cell donation

To give platelets
Wait 14 days after a whole blood or platelet donation. Wait 112 days after a double red cell donation

To give double red cells
Wait 56 days after a whole blood donation, 14 days after a platelet donation and 112 days after a double red cell donation

Antibiotic Therapy  No wait after last dose and must be physically well on the day of donation  
Asthma No wait if symptom-free at time of donation and controlled with medication
Blood Pressure No wait if blood pressure is less than or equal to 180/100
Cancer No wait for Basal Cell & Squamous Cell Cancer of the skin, Breast Cancer in-situ or Melanoma in-situ, and Cervical Cancer in-situ if treated and healed
Most non-blood cancers – 1 year wait after completion of treatment with no recurrence; must be symptom-free and released from doctor’s care
Dental Care 24 hour wait after routine procedures (cleanings, fillings); 72-hour wait after root canal or surgery
Diabetes No wait when controlled by diet or medication
Heart Attack History 1 year wait after heart attack – must have been medically evaluated and released; Must currently be without any symptoms, limitations or restrictions in normal daily activities and not on medications for heart disease other than aspirin and blood pressure medications
Immunizations (shots) Allergy or flu vaccines are acceptable with no wait period if symptom-free; Hepatitis B Vaccine- 14 day wait; others 24 hour to 4 week waits
Malarial Area Travel 1 year wait after return from visiting malarial endemic area or 3 year wait after having lived in a malaria endemic area for 5 years or more
Piercing (ear/body) No wait when received in a professional setting with sterile single-use equipment
One-year wait after an accidental needle stick or any other non-sterile skin penetration
Pregnancy Six-week wait after vaginal delivery; 6-month wait after C-section
Seizures 6 month wait after last seizure and no recurrence and controlled with medication
Surgery 2 to 24 week waits depending on type of surgery. Must have healed surgical wound, resumed normal activity and been released from doctor’s care
Tattoo /Permanent Make-up No wait when received in a state-regulated facility using sterile single-use equipment. The tattoo site must be properly healed. One-year wait when received in Washington, DC, North Dakota, New Mexico and outside of the United States
Travel Visited or lived in any country with malaria risk (please see “Malarial Area Travel” above)
European Travel/Residence
You may not donate blood or platelets at this time if your visits or residency matches or exceeds the total
accumulated time
during the stated periods in the countries listed below.

From 1980 to the present, if you have spent time that equals five (5) years or more in the following European countries:
Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Montenegro former Republic of Yugoslavia, the Netherlands (Holland), Norway, Poland, Portugal (includes Azores), Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom

From 1980 through 1996, if you have spent time that equals three (3) months or more in the United Kingdom:
England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, Gibraltar, and the Falkland Islands

Military Travel Deferral — Total time of six (6) months or more associated with a military base:
From 1980 – 1990 in Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands
From 1980 – 1996 in Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Italy, and Greece

You may not donate blood if you: tested positive for or have HIV/AIDS, or participated in events known to increase exposure to the HIV/AIDS virus; tested positive for Hepatitis B or C at any time or had Hepatitis A after the 11th birthday; Hodgkin’s Disease, Leukemia, Lymphoma or Malignant Melanoma.


For more specific information about your eligibility PDF to donate blood, please call our Donor Advocate at 571-434-3628.