Donating blood is safe and easy to do. But sometimes we all need help finding the power to do our part. What if you could overcome your own fears and uncertainties because you know you’re significantly impacting the lives of others? We’re here to guide you every step of the way and happy to answer any questions to make you feel comfortable.

If you’re in good health and meet the general eligibility criteria, then you are likely able to donate. Depending on the circumstances, if you were told previously that you couldn’t donate you might be able to now.

As part of our commitment to safety, blood donors must meet certain requirements to give blood. The information below is not all-inclusive and is subject to change. It's important you review this information before scheduling an appointment.

If you have any questions regarding your eligibility, please call us at 877-258-4825 (877-25VITAL) and choose option 1.

When you're ready to take the next step, remember to complete your online Health History Questionnaire the day you donate.

  • Must be at least 16 years old (16- and 17-year-olds must bring a signed permission form from a  parent or guardian, if required by state or school).
  • Weigh at least 110 pounds.
  • Be in good general health.
  • For your safety and to ensure a positive donation experience, make sure you eat within two hours ahead of your donation. Drink plenty of water that day and 24 to 48 hours beforehand. Feel free to help yourself to something to eat and drink in our refreshment area.
  • Bring your ID—something with your name and one of the following: date of birth, donor ID number or your photo.
  • You must wait eight weeks between whole blood donations. Learn more about specific intervals for other types of donation.
  • You should not be under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs at the time of donation.
  • Platelet donors should avoid aspirin and/or aspirin-containing products 48 hours prior to donation.
  • Double red cell donors must meet certain height and weight requirements.
Most health conditions are acceptable and you may be eligible to donate as long as you meet all other requirements. If you have any questions, please call us at 877-258-4825, option 1, or you may ask our donor care specialist at the time of your donation.
  • Breastfeeding: Female donors who are breastfeeding are eligible to donate.
  • Cancer: If you have a history of basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer, or in situ breast or cervix cancer, you are eligible to donate once you've completed your treatment. Those with lymphoma or leukemia are indefinitely deferred from donating blood (however, eligibility criteria for adult survivors of childhood leukemia who were diagnosed when they were 18 years old or younger may vary). All other types of cancer will be assessed at the time of donation, but 12 months must have passed since the last treatment and you must be considered cancer free at the time of donation.
  • Colds/Flu: You are not eligible if you are not feeling well and healthy the day of donation. You may donate after you recover and are symptom free.
  • Diabetes: If you have diabetes (type I or II), you are eligible to donate; however, diabetics who ever used bovine insulin manufactured in the United Kingdom are not eligible.
  • Heart Disease: If you have a history of heart disease or heart attacks, you may be eligible to donate provided six months have elapsed from the incident and other specific criteria have been met. Please contact us for additional information.
  • Hemochromatosis/Polycythemia: If you are diagnosed with hereditary hemochromatosis or polycythemia, please check with us first.
  • High Blood Pressure: If you have high blood pressure, you are eligible to donate if your blood pressure is within an acceptable range when taken on the day of donation, regardless of medication.
  • Pregnant: If you are pregnant or have been pregnant in the last 6 weeks, you are not eligible to donate.
  • Transfusion/Transplants: If you have received a transplant or blood transfusion, you are asked to wait 12 months before donating; however, eligibility criteria for those who have received a stem cell or marrow transplant may vary.
Most medications are acceptable. If you have questions about your medication or health condition, call us at 877-258-4825, option 1.
Risk factors include:
  • Use of needles to take drugs, steroids or anything not prescribed by your doctor.
  • Taking money or drugs for sex.
  • The following risk factors represent a 12-month deferral for the donor from the date of occurrence:
    • Male to male sexual contact in the past 12 months
    • Intimate/sexual contact with any person in the above categories
    • Accidental contact with another person’s blood/body fluid or an accidental needle stick
    • Incarceration for more than 72 consecutive hours
  • Tattoos/Permanent Make-up/Micro-blading: Tattoos are acceptable if the tattoo was applied in a state-regulated shop within the last 12 months.
    • Our policy allows you to donate if the tattoo was performed in a professional shop using sterile needles and single-use ink. Otherwise, we’ll ask you to wait 12 months from the date your tattoo was applied before giving blood.
  • Ear/Body Piercing/Branding: You are eligible to donate if a piercing or branding was performed using single-use equipment. Otherwise, we’ll ask you to wait 12 months before donating.
    • Note: Piercings done at Claire’s stores and similar establishments are acceptable.
  • Acupuncture/Dry-needling: You are eligible if the procedure was performed using single-use equipment. Otherwise, we’ll ask you to wait 12 months before donating.

For the purpose of evaluating travel to variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease risk areas, please review this list. Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease is the human form of mad cow disease.

Note: If you live in Colorado, you may be eligible to give blood for research purposes even if you are not eligible to donate for patient transfusion because of travel or other restrictions.

Most travel is acceptable. There are certain countries and popular travel destinations that are malaria risk areas. If you've traveled to these areas, we'll ask you to wait 12 months before you donate. Please call 877-258-4825, option 1, with any questions about your recent travel.
Unlike plasma that is donated specifically for patient transfusion, source plasma is collected and used to develop lifesaving medicines and therapies for patients with neurological disorders, immune deficiencies, bleeding disorders and more. Currently, Vitalant only offers voluntary source plasma donation opportunities to people who live in the Sacramento area.

The eligibility requirements for source plasma donors are the same as whole blood donors plus the following:
  • No restrictions on travel to malaria risk areas (whole blood and component-specific donors must wait 12 months from date of travel).
  • Must wait 72 hours after receiving allergy/desensitization shots.
  • Must wait 14 days after experiencing fever or flu-like symptoms.
  • Not eligible if pregnant, but eligible 9 months after pregnancy.
The following health conditions may defer you from giving source plasma. If you have any questions, please call us at 916-453-3028.
  • Insulin-dependent diabetes management.
  • Cancer or malignant disease history.
  • Growth hormone.
  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Central nervous system disease.
  • Abnormal bleeding tendency.
  • Hematological disease.
  • Seizure/convulsion history.
  • Gastrointestinal disease.
  • Immunological disease.
  • Renal and respiratory system diseases.

“Thank you for your time and for forever impacting the lives of others by giving blood.”

– ANGELA, MOTHER OF BLOOD RECIPIENT