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Can I donate blood?

Donating blood is easy and our blood supply relies exclusively on the generosity of volunteer blood donors. There is no substitute for human blood. Most people qualify as a volunteer donor, even if they are taking medications. Review the eligibility criteria below and see if you can be a lifesaver too.

Age Matters

You may donate if you are at least 17 years old (16 years old with written consent from parent or legal guardian), weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in good health.

  • Donors age 16-18 are also subject to additional height/weight restrictions.
  • Donors age 76 and older can continue to donate blood if they meet all eligibility criteria and present a physician's letter allowing them to donate, once at the first donation after reaching their 76th birthday.  In the absence of a letter from their physician, they must be cleared by an NYBC medical director at each donation.

16 Year Old Parental/Guardian's Permission Form

New YorkNew JerseyPennsylvania

Common Reasons For Donor Ineligibility 

Read below for some of the temporary or permanent reasons you may not be eligible to donate blood. Some  medications or medical conditions can also impact your donation eligibility.

URGENT REQUEST: Please do not give blood just to find out your HIV (AIDS virus) test results. If you need information on where to go for confidential HIV testing, please call your local health department.

Temporary Reasons

ConditionLength of time before you can give blood
Not feeling well for any reasonuntil symptoms are over
Cold, sore throat, respiratory infection, fluuntil 3 days after symptoms are over
Travel to an area of the world where malaria is a problem12 months after return
Certain cases of heart diseasecontact us for medical eligibility at 1-800-688-0900
Ears, nose or skin piercing12 months after procedure unless done under sterile conditions

Donors who receive tattoos in New York State are deferred from donating for 12 months unless it was applied in New Jersey at a licensed tattoo parlor, in which case you can donate immediately. You can usually donate immediately after receiving a tattoo in licensed parlors in most American states, however the following exclusions apply and will incur a 12 month deferral period: DC, Georgia, Idaho, MD, MA, NY, Penn, Vermont, Utah, Wyoming, US territories or any other country.

Blood transfusion12 months after receiving blood
Pregnancy, abortion or miscarriagesix weeks after end of pregnancy
Surgery, serious injurywhen healing is complete and feeling well
Syphilis, gonorrhea12 months after treatment completed
Have had certain forms of cancercontact us regarding medical eligibility 1-800-688-0900
Have had sex with someone who has hepatitis B or hepatitis C12 months after last occurence
You have had sex with anyone listed in the first three items under Permanent Reasons below12 months after last occurence
You are a man who has had sex with another man12 months after last occurence


Antibiotics (except antibiotics for acne) if taken 
for infection
when treatment is complete
Accutane, Absorica, Proscar and Propecia1 month after taking last dose
Avodart and Jalyn6 months after taking last dose
Soriatane3 years after taking last dose
Plavix*, Ticlid*14 days after taking
Coumadin, Effient* and Brilinta*7 days after taking

* These anti-platelet agents affect platelet function so people taking these drugs should not donate platelets for the indicated time; however, you make a whole blood donation.  Anyone taking Coumadin must wait 7 days after their last dose in order to be eligible for any type of donation.

Permanent Reasons

Please do not give blood if you:

  • Have used illegal drugs with a needle, even once

  • Have ever had a positive test for HIV (AIDS virus)

  • Are a man or woman who has had sex for money or drugs any time since 1977

  • Are a hemophiliac

  • Had viral hepatitis B or hepatitis C

  • Had certain forms of cancer (contact us regarding medical eligibility at 800.688.0900)

  • Had babesiosis or Chagas disease

  • Have taken Tegison for psoriasis

  • Have  vCJD and/or a blood relative who had CJD

Please Note:

  • If you have diabetes or are on medications other than those noted above, you may still be eligible to donate blood. Call us to find out: 800.688.0900.

  • If you have traveled outside the United States, you may be deferred depending on the country and the length of time spent there.

  • The reasons for not being eligible to donate blood may change at any time.

If you have any additional questions or concerns about donating blood, please contact us.


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