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Blood Donor Eligibility Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for establishing policies to ensure the safety of all donated blood products. Donor eligibility may also be determined at the discretion of the UNC Blood Donation Center medical director. Contact us via email or by phone at 984-974-8290 with any additional questions.

Basic Requirements

  • 16 years or older
  • 110 pounds or more
  • Feeling well and healthy

Medications and Vaccinations

The majority of medications will not prohibit you from donating, but some require a waiting period before becoming eligible to donate. These include certain medications for psoriasis, severe acne, hair loss, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV PrEP, and blood thinners.

Antibiotics taken for an active infection must be completed prior to your donation.

Aspirin must be avoided for at least 48 hours prior to your platelet donation; other non-aspirin pain relievers are acceptable.

If you received the COVID-19 vaccine, you must wait 24 hours before donating. Most other vaccinations do not require a waiting period as long as they were taken prophylactically (pre-exposure).

Travel

You cannot donate if you have spent more than 3 months in the United Kingdom between 1980 and 1996.

You cannot donate if you have spent more than 5 years in France or Ireland between 1980 and 2001.

If you have traveled to a malaria-risk area in the last 3 years, please contact us to determine your eligibility.

Health

Donors must be healthy and free of any symptoms on the day of donation. Exceptions are made only for mild allergy symptoms.

Some chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, asthma or diabetes, are acceptable as long as they are well-controlled with no restrictions.

If you have history of a blood cancer (such as leukemia or lymphoma), you cannot donate. For most other cancers, donors may be eligible after successful remission and 12 months have passed since the last date of treatment.

Lifestyle

There is no waiting period for receiving a tattoo if it was applied by a state regulated entity with sterile needles and non-reused ink. Otherwise, a 3 month waiting period applies.

There is no waiting period for receiving an ear or body piercing if it was applied using single-use equipment. Otherwise, a 3 month waiting period applies.

Per FDA guidance, male donors who have had sexual contact with another male (MSM) must wait 3 months before they are eligible to donate blood.