Am I Eligible?

Please use the information below 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.

As of Thursday, October 19, 2023, Stanford Blood Center (SBC) has implemented the updated FDA blood donation guidelines, which eliminate questions based on sexual orientation. We look forward to welcoming those who may be newly eligible to support local patients through blood donation.

Stanford Blood Center is committed to achieving an inclusive blood donation process that treats all potential donors equally and ensures a safe, sufficient blood supply is readily available for patients in need. This historic change in approach to donor eligibility is significant progress, resulting in a blood donation process that is more inclusive and equitable than ever before. Stanford Blood Center enthusiastically supports this change, aligning the United States with countries like Canada and the United Kingdom.

General Requirements

Donors must:

  • Be at least 17 years of age (16-year-olds may donate blood with a parent/guardian’s consent). Donors under the age of 17 should bring the completed consent form (05-FX1) when registering to donate.
  • 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 and discuss answers confidentially with a Medical Historian. The questionnaire will be provided at the time of your donation, (which will be provided at the time of your donation, or you may fill out your medical history questionnaire ahead of time on the day of your donation by using SBC preCheck™.


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

Height & Weight Requirements

Male Donors 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. 126 lbs. 123 lbs. 118 lbs. 114 lbs. 110 lbs.


Female 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. 120 lbs. 115 lbs. 110 lbs.


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. 120 lbs. 115 lbs. 110 lbs.


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

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. You may fill out your medical history questionnaire ahead of time on the day of your donation by using SBC preCheck™.

Once you have completed your form, a Medical Historian will go over your questions and answers with you. They 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

We know it can be disappointing to find that you 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. From time to time, the FDA makes changes to deferrals, which may allow previously deferred donors to give blood again or for the first time.

On rare occasions, donors may be deferred for reasons not listed on our website or educational materials to protect the safety of the donors and/or patients. For example, an open wound may be cause for deferral, and donors should disclose if they have any wounds prior to donation for a safety assessment. Donors are always welcome to call SBC Resource Nurse at 650-725-7336 with any questions they have about eligibility prior to donation.

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.

Please read below for more information about some of the common reasons for deferral.


COVID-19 is a 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. SBC takes a precautionary approach to better ensure the safety of individuals at our donation sites: If you were diagnosed with or suspected of having...

MSM Deferral (Historical)

CHANGES TO BLOOD DONOR ELIGIBILITY FOR GAY AND BISEXUAL MALE DONORS As of October 19, 2023, donors are no longer deferred according to MSM (Men-Who-Have-Sex-With-Men) criteria. Instead, in accordance with FDA guidance, all donors will be asked the same questions about high-risk sexual behavior, reflecting a data-driven approach to maintaining blood safety. This historic change...


Below are a few examples of common travel deferrals. If you have questions about your eligibility, contact us at (888) 723-7831. Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD): As of January 5, 2023, we are excited to share that common deferrals related to risk of vCJD (or “mad cow”) have been eliminated. The only deferral that remains is...


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,…


You will no longer be deferred for tattoos obtained in a California State regulated entity. At present, you will still be deferred for three months if you obtained a tattoo outside of California or in California in a non-regulated entity. This deferral period was reduced from 12 months on September 17, 2020, based on an…


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…

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…