Blood Donation FAQs
Why Was I Deferred From Giving Blood?
Deferred, but not deterred. If you were ever turned away from giving blood, please come back and try again. For many blood donors, many of the most common deferrals (low iron, low blood pressure, medications) are temporary, only disqualifying you from donating for a specific period of time. After the deferral period ends, you can return to be reevaluated, and if all donor eligibility criteria are met, you will be allowed to donate.
For more information about deferrals, visit the AABB (Association for the Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies) website.
Help save lives in your community. Become a voluntary blood, double red cell, plasma or platelet donor today! Schedule your donation.
Most medications will not defer you from donating blood. Before you make an appointment, however, check our medication deferral list.
If you are currently taking antibiotics for an infection, you will be eligible to donate two days after your course of treatment is complete.
Pregnant women are not eligible to donate blood - your body needs all the nutrients it can get! We recommend speaking with your doctor at your 6-week postpartum appointment to verify whether or not it is OK for you to start donating blood again.
Women who are breastfeeding are eligible to donate. Most nursing mothers say that eating a healthy meal before donating and staying hydrated before, during and after helps ensure a successful donation.
The short answer is yes. There are some exceptions that may defer you from donating, including:
- If you have traveled to an area affected by malaria in the past year, we ask that you wait three months from the time you returned home before donating blood.
- If you have ever had malaria, you must be symptom-free for three years.
Time restrictions between blood donations are placed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for your safety. You can donate the following:
- Whole blood: every 56 days (8 weeks)
- Red cells: every 112 days (16 weeks)
- Platelets: every 14 days (2 weeks)
- Plasma: every 28 days (4 weeks)
There are a few additional conditions that may prevent you from donating, including:
- Receiving any blood transfusions in the last three months.
- A history of hepatitis B or C
- High risk for HIV/AIDS
- If you've ever taken Tegison
- If you used needles to take anything not prescribed by your physician in the past 3 months.
The following forms of ID with a birth date and photo will be accepted:
- Driver’s license
- State-issued ID card
- Student identification card
- Passport, visa or green card
Individuals aged 17 and older who are in good health and not experiencing symptoms of cold or flu may donate blood. Donors who are 16 years old may donate but must have parent/guardian permission. There is no maximum age for donation.
Donors must weigh at least 110 lbs to donate.* Donors aged 16-18 have special height and weight requirements, view the chart for more information.
This is a volunteer opportunity like no other. Versiti is the only provider of blood to the community hospitals where you live and work. Medical technology has provided many life-saving discoveries over the years, but there is still no substitute for blood. In a medical emergency, often the most important element is the availability of blood.
Your blood donation can help:
- Trauma victims
- Surgery patients
- Premature babies
- People with anemia
Donation Process FAQ's
Yes. The following forms of identification with a photo and birth date are acceptable:
- Driver’s license
- State-issued ID
- Student ID card
- Passport, visa or green card
The process for donating whole blood takes about an hour from the time you walk in the door to the time you leave. This includes registration, a brief medical screening, blood collection and refreshments.
Collecting one unit of whole blood only takes about 10 minutes; however, you can expect to spend more time donating products like red cells, platelets and plasma (also known as apheresis procedures).
Blood Safety FAQ's
Post Donation FAQ's
Approximately six months or more with a healthy diet, or one to two months with an iron supplement.
Replace iron loss by taking an oral iron supplement daily for 60 days immediately following your blood donation. We recommend taking an over-the-counter supplement or multivitamin containing 18mg of elemental iron per day.
Most people feel fine after donating blood (having a snack helps - seriously!). Your body constantly makes new blood and the fluid you give will be replaced within hours. Eating a full meal before you donate will help you feel strong afterword. Drinking water and juice before and after donating also helps your body replenish lost fluids.
Avoid strenuous activity for 12 hours after donating. If you are donating at a blood drive at your place of employment and have a hazardous or strenuous job, we recommend donating at the end of your shift.