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Blood Donation Basics
21 Apr 2022
If you or a loved one need a blood transfusion, you want that blood to be as safe as possible.
That’s why blood donation and blood providers like Vitalant are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA has established blood donation requirements designed to keep the blood supply safe from bloodborne diseases, and also keep patients safe from anything else in a donor’s blood (such as a medication) that could harm them.
That’s why you could receive what is called a blood donation deferral, meaning you aren’t eligible to donate blood for a certain time period. Deferrals not only protect patients and the blood supply, they also protect donors, because you may also be deferred when your body is not quite up to snuff to safely donate.
Blood donation deferrals can be short-term, and on rare occasions they are longer term, but the good news is that most blood donation deferrals don’t mean you can NEVER donate blood.
Common short-term blood donation deferrals
Basic blood donation requirements include being 16 or older, weighing at least 110 pounds, and being in good general health. When you come to donate at a Vitalant location, we’ll perform a few simple checks to make sure you’re OK to donate. If any of the results indicate you aren’t quite up to the task, you will receive a blood donation deferral and won’t be able to donate that day:
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Ready to donate, but unsure if you qualify? Or maybe you’ve been deferred in the past — but that doesn’t necessarily mean you still can’t donate. View our most up-to-date eligibility requirements.
Then, use any donate button to schedule an appointment.