Am I Eligible?

APRIL 2, 2020 — This morning, the FDA issued an updated guidance regarding blood donation deferrals for a number of risk factors, including travel to malaria-risk regions, tattoos, and risk of transmission of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (mad cow) and HIV (which includes guidance around men who have sex with men). We are grateful that the FDA is looking seriously at policies that affect the blood supply and while we are not able to implement this update immediately, are working to adapt our policies and procedures to the new guidance as soon as logistically possible. Learn more at stanfordbloodcenter.org/fda-releases-updated-deferrals.

Please use the information on this site as a general guide; an evaluation by a medical professional is the only way to determine blood donor eligibility. Before you donate for the first time, we recommend you read our Preparing to Donate page.

Donors must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age (16- and 17-year-olds may donate blood with a parent/guardian’s consent). Donors under the age of 18 should bring the completed consent form (05-FX1) when registering to donate.
  • The consent form can also be obtained:
    • at a Stanford Blood Center donor center
    • at a Stanford Blood Center community blood drive, or
    • from your high school blood drive coordinator
  • weigh at least 110 pounds for donors 19 or older (Donors under 19 — see height/weight requirements)
  • be free of cold and flu symptoms (allergies ok; as are most medications)
  • eat before donating and drink plenty of fluids
  • bring photo ID
  • fill out a Medical History Questionnaire (which will be provided at the time of your donation) and discuss answers confidentially with a Medical Historian
Males 18-Years-Old or Younger
If you are: 4’7” or less 4’8” 4’9” 4’10” 4’11” 5’ or taller
You must weigh at least: 130 lbs. 125 lbs. 123 lbs. 121 lbs. 115 lbs. 110 lbs.

 

Females or Nonbinary Donors 18-Years-Old or Younger
If you are: 5’1” or less 5’2” 5’3” 5’4” 5’5” 5’6” or taller
You must weigh at least: 133 lbs. 129 lbs. 124 lbs. 118 lbs. 115 lbs. 110 lbs.

 

Anyone 19-Years-Old or Older
For all heights, you must weigh at least: 110 lbs.

The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in an attempt to ensure a safe blood supply, has imposed strict controls on who may donate. If you discover that you are not eligible to give blood, you can still save lives by providing blood for research, coordinating a blood drive within your organization, volunteering your time, or contributing financially. However you participate in our programs, you are helping maintain the health of our community. Thank you for your dedication.

After viewing the Medical History Questionnaire and the common reasons for deferral below, if you have questions about your eligibility, contact us at (650) 723-7831.

Medical History

You will be asked to complete a Medical History Questionnaire each time you donate blood. Your honesty in answering these questions is a crucial part of the blood donation process.

Once you have completed the form, a Medical Historian will go over your questions and answers with you. He or she may ask for further information, and you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. The Medical Historian will then determine, based on your answers, if you are eligible to donate blood that day. Here are some reasons why a donor may be permanently deferred:

HIV/AIDS You are a person with symptoms or laboratory evidence of HIV virus.
Cancer You have had Leukemia, Lymphoma, multiple myeloma and all other hematologic malignancies.
Heart Disease You’ve ever experienced heart failure or coronary artery disease. Other heart conditions may require your doctor’s permission.
Hepatitis You have a history of the disease.
Organ Failure You have experienced kidney, lung, or liver failure.

Deferral Information

Some people are very disappointed to find that they are not eligible to give blood. There are several reasons for—and even different types of—deferrals. Depending upon the reason, a deferral may be either temporary or permanent. Please read below for more information about some of the common reasons for deferral:

FAQ on Novel Coronavirus and Blood Donation

We would like to take this opportunity to provide some additional information about coronavirus and blood donation. Our hope is that people interested in donating blood consider all of the facts of the situation, namely that COVID-19 does not pose any special risk to blood donors during the donation process or from attending blood drives….

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) is a new strain of the coronavirus that was first identified in late 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Symptoms of the virus include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Although respiratory viruses are not known to be transmitted by blood transfusion and there have been no reported cases of transfusion-transmitted...

Hemoglobin

During the Medical History part of your donation process, the Historian will take a small blood sample from your finger to test your hemoglobin, which is the oxygen-carrying molecule in your red blood cells. In order to get an accurate sample of your hemoglobin level, your hands must be warm. Try rubbing your hands together,…

MSM Deferral

April 2, 2020 — Update Regarding New FDA Guidance This morning, the FDA issued an updated guidance regarding blood donation deferrals for a number of risk factors, including travel to malaria-risk regions, tattoos, and risk of transmission of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) and HIV (which includes guidance around men who have sex with men).  A…

Tattoos

You will no longer be deferred for tattoos obtained in a California State regulated entity. At present, you will still be deferred for 12 months if you obtained a tattoo outside of California or in California in a non-regulated entity. However, on April 2, 2020, the FDA issued an updated guidance regarding blood donation deferrals…

Medications

While many people assume that they are ineligible to donate blood if they take medications, this is simply not the case! While some medications would preclude you from donating, most medications — even those prescribed by a doctor — pose no threat to you or patients as part of the blood donation process. There are…

Travel

April 2, 2020 — Update Regarding New FDA Guidance This morning, the FDA issued an updated guidance regarding blood donation deferrals for a number of risk factors, including travel to malaria-risk regions, tattoos, and risk of transmission of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) and HIV (which includes guidance around men who have sex with men).  A…

Zika Virus

Stanford Blood Center screens blood collections for Zika virus. However, if you have been diagnosed with having Zika virus infection within the last 120 days (~4 months), please call our Post Donation Callback line immediately at 650-725-9968 and someone will contact you to discuss your previous donations and your eligibility to donate.

Emerging Infectious Diseases

Please do not donate if you have EVER had Ebola virus infection or disease. Please do not donate for 4 weeks after full recovery if you have been diagnosed with an infection of chikungunya or dengue. If you have been diagnosed with one of the above infections within the timeframe specified, or if you have…