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.

For information about blood donation and the Covid-19 vaccine, visit the Covid-19 and Blood Donation FAQ.

Please note: the deferral for potential exposure to Mad Cow Disease (vCJD) has been lifted! Those who spent time in the UK, France or Ireland are now be eligible to donate given that all other donation criteria is met. View our press release.

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, flu

until 3 days after symptoms are over

Individuals diagnosed with COVID -19 or who are suspected of having COVID -19, and who had symptomatic disease.

If you have been required to self-quarantine, please do not schedule a donation until at least 14 days after symptom resolve. 

Travel to an area of the world where malaria is a problem3 months after return
Certain cases of heart diseasecontact us for medical eligibility at 1-800-688-0900
Ears, nose or skin piercing3 months after procedure unless done under sterile conditions

You can usually donate immediately after receiving a tattoo in licensed parlors in most American states, however a 3-month deferral will apply if tattoo is received in: Georgia, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Wyoming, as well as the District of Columbia, US Territories, and any other country.

Pregnancy, abortion or miscarriage6 weeks after end of pregnancy
Surgery, serious injurywhen healing is complete and feeling well
Syphilis, gonorrhea3 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 occurrence
Blood transfusion3 months after receiving blood
You are a man who has had sex with another man3 months after last occurrence
Used non-prescription drugs with a needle3 months after last occurrence
Taken money or drugs in exchange for sex3 months after last occurrence
You have had sex with anyone who:
  • Is a man who ever has had sex with another man
  • Has ever used illegal drugs with a needle
  • Has ever taken money or drugs in exchange for sex
3 months after last occurrence


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

See full list of medications that may affect your eligibility as a blood donor.

* 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 ever had a positive test for HIV (AIDS virus)

  • Are a hemophiliac

  • Had viral hepatitis B or hepatitis C

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

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. Call us at 800.688.0900 for more information and to determine if you are eligible.

  • 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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