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Basic Eligibility Requirements for Blood Donation

You may be wondering if you can donate blood. Donating blood is safe and easy to do, but there are a few basic requirements to donate blood. If you're in good health and meet the general eligibility blood donation requirements, then you are likely able to give blood. 

Blood donors are needed every day to save lives. Recent changes by the FDA to eligibility guidance, including the Individual Donor Assessment  and European travel, may mean those once deferred can give. Please review the additional eligibility information below if you have questions about health conditions, HIV risk, medications, travel and more. If you don’t meet the blood donation requirements today or receive a deferral, we encourage you to come back and try again. You will likely be eligible to donate blood in the future.

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Basic Requirements & Recommendations

Must be at least 16 years old

Weigh at least 110 pounds

Be in good general health

Bring your ID

Eat within 2 hours ahead of your donation

Drink plenty of non-alcoholic liquids

Wait eight weeks between whole blood donations

Why are there requirements to donate blood? Eligibility requirements are important to help ensure the safety of both the blood donor and blood recipient. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established blood donation requirements to keep the blood supply safe from bloodborne diseases and also keep patients safe from anything in a donor’s blood (such as a medication) that could harm them. These blood donation requirements also protect donors by making sure they are physically able to safely donate.

Basic Eligibility

Basic eligibility requirements for blood donation
  • Must be at least 16 years old (16- and some 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. Certain height/weight criteria may apply for donors 22 years old or younger. For specific requirements in your area, please call 877-258-4825.
  • 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.
Additional requirements for platelet and Power Red donation

Platelet donors should avoid aspirin and/or aspirin-containing products 48 hours prior to donation and other anti-platelet medications.

Power Red donors must meet certain height and weight requirements.

Requirements for source plasma

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.

Source plasma donors have specific eligibility requirements. Please call us at 877-258-4825 for more information.


COVID-19 is the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Before donating blood, please refer to your state’s or public health agency’s guidelines for COVID-19 testing and quarantining.

Whatever your COVID-19 vaccination status, you may still give blood or platelets. If you have received a COVID-19 vaccine or booster, you may give blood or platelets any time after your vaccination if you meet all general blood donation eligibility criteria. 

Do not come to donate if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or are subject to quarantine after close contact with individuals diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19 infection. If you’ve had COVID-19 more than 10 days ago and your symptoms are resolving, you are eligible to donate.

Please do NOT donate or enter a Vitalant facility if you are not feeling well. Blood donors are NOT tested for active coronavirus infection.

Additional Eligibility Requirements

If you've recently gotten a tattoo, traveled abroad or take medications, chances are you can still donate blood, but please review how these might impact your eligibility.

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