In addition to being in good general health, donors need to meet the following guidelines.
Age to Donate:
Anyone 16 years old weighing 120 pounds (with a parental consent form), or at least 17 years old weighing 110 pounds, and in good general health can donate blood. There is no upper age limit for donation.
What to Bring:
Donors must present identification. Acceptable forms include driver’s license, security or identification badge with photograph and name, passport, photo yearbook listing (high school), photo credit card or bank card. Bring a list of medications you are currently taking, as well.
Food and Fluids:
The day of your donation you should eat a full meal within four hours of your donation. It’s best to eat healthy high-iron, low-fat foods. Do not fast. Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of non-caffeine/non-alcoholic fluids, such as water and fruit juice, before donating.
Medications & Travel Outside the US:
Platelet donors should not take aspirin or ibuprofen for two days before donating. Taking medications is NOT an automatic deferral. Most are perfectly acceptable. The easiest thing to do is to ask an eligibility specialist at (210) 731-5555 ext. 2243, or bring a list of your medications to the donation site. Foreign travel or residency does NOT automatically prevent you from donating. There are many variables as to where, when and how long.
Additional guidelines may apply for specific blood procedures. Visit the Types of Donations page for more information.