BLOOD EMERGENCY - URGENT NEED FOR DONORS. Click here to schedule your donation today.

To ensure the safety of both patients and donors, these are some of the temporary or permanent reasons you may not be able to donate blood. If you were deferred in the past, you may be eligible to donate now.

Even if you can’t donate, you can still make a difference. Support Us as a volunteer or through a financial donation to support our lifesaving mission.

Temporary Reasons People Can’t Donate

Not feeling well for any reason

  • Length of time before you can donate blood: Until symptoms are over. Default deferral period is one day.

Cold, sore throat, respiratory infection, flu

  • Length of time before you can donate blood: Until 3 days after symptoms are over.

Covid-19

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

Blood Transfusion

  • Length of time before you can give blood: 3 months after receiving blood.

Cancer

  • Contact us regarding medical eligibility at 1.800.688.0900.

Diabetes

  • Contact us regarding medical eligibility at 1.800.688.0900.

Heart Disease

  • Contact us regarding medical eligibility at 1.800.688.0900.

Surgery, serious injury

  • Length of time before you can give blood: When healing is complete, and you are completely healed.

Some medical conditions or medications can also impact your donation eligibility.

Antibiotics (except antibiotics for acne) if taken for infection, accept after last dose provided donor meets all other criteria.when treatment is complete
Accutane, Absorica, Proscar and Propecia1 month after taking last dose
Avodart, Jalyn6 months after taking last dose
Effient*3 days after taking
Coumadin*, Brilinta*7 days after taking
Plavix*, Ticlid*14 days after taking
Soriatane3 years after taking last dose

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 may 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.

  • Length of time before you can give blood: 6 weeks after end of pregnancy.

Have had sex with someone who has hepatitis B or symptomatic hepatitis C

  • Length of time before you can give blood: 3 months after last contact.

Syphilis, gonorrhea

  • Length of time before you can give blood: 3 months after treatment completed.

You have had sex with new and/or multiple partners AND have had anal sex in the past 3 months.

  • Length of time before you can give blood: 3 months from last occurrence of anal sex or 3 months from current date if answer is unknown.

To learn more about the recent updates to the FDA’s guidance on establishing a blood donor screening process based on Individual Donor Assessment, not sexual or gender identity, visit nybc.org/ida.

Taken money or drugs in exchange for sex

  • Length of time before you can give blood: 3 months after last occurrence.

You have had sex with anyone who:

  • Has ever used needles to inject drugs, steroids, or anything not prescribed by a doctor.
  • Has ever taken money or drugs in exchange for sex.

Length of time before you can give blood: 3 months after last contact.

Ear, nose or skin piercing

  • Length of time before you can give blood 3 months after procedure unless done under sterile conditions.

Tattoos

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.

Travel outside of the United States

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

Travel to a malaria endemic area

  • Length of time before you can give blood: 3 months after return.
  • Length of time before you can give blood: 3 months after last occurrence.

Permanent Reasons People Can’t Donate

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)

Of Special Note

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

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.