Donation Information

Blood Donor Guidelines

  • Must be 17 years of age. There is no upper age limit. Must be in good general health and meet all blood donor guidelines.
  • Must weigh a minimum of 110 pounds.
  • Hemoglobin: 12.5 g/dl or above for females; 13.0 g/dl or above for males
  • Pulse must exhibit no irregularities and be between 50 and 100 beats per minute. If the donor is an athlete with high exercise tolerance, a lower rate may be acceptable if approved by medical director.
  • Temperature must not exceed 99.5
  • Medications: If taking prescription medications, please bring a list of your meds. OK to donate if taking aspirin, antihistamines, birth control pills, blood pressure meds, vitamins, and many other medications. Must not be taking Accutane, Proscar, Propecia, Avodart, Tegison, Soriatane, or Bovine (beef) insulin. Must have completed antibiotics three days before donating.
  • OK to donate after allergy shots, influenza vaccine, Hepatitis A or B vaccine, and Tetanus shots.
  • Diabetes: OK if controlled by insulin, medication, or diet.
  • Pregnancy: OK to donate 6 weeks after end of pregnancy.
  • Eat a full meal within four hours of donation. Drink lots of water or juice before and after donating. Avoid alcoholic beverages for 12 hours before and after donation. Individuals with hazardous or strenuous jobs should donate at the end of their work shift.
  • Skin Cancer: Localized basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma are acceptable if completely excised and healed.
  • Carcinoma in situ of the cervix, vulva, or breast, or papillary thyroid carcinoma: acceptable after completion of therapy and released by doctor.
  • Other cancers: Most acceptable if in remission for at least two years.
  • Tamoxifen and other medications used for breast cancer preventative treatment are acceptable provided the donor meets all other criteria for cancer.

Temporary Disqualifications

  • Colds: Must be symptom free 72 hours.
  • Dental: OK to donate 24 hours after fillings and cleanings. Oral surgery or extractions, must wait 72 hours after procedure.
  • Tattoos: 4 weeks waiting period if tattoo is received from a licensed Texas facility; 12 month waiting period if from out of state facility or if done by unlicenced facility.
  • Piercings (body or ear): 4 weeks waiting period if piercing received from a licensed facility; 12 month waiting period if self-pierced.
  • Must wait 56 days between whole blood donations.
  • Surgery: Must be released by doctor to resume normal activities and no blood products used.
  • Malaria: must wait one year following travel to endemic areas. OK to donate three years after malaria is cured.
  • Melanoma: must wait two years.

Permanent Disqualifications

  • AIDS/HIV infection
  • History of heart attack, stroke, COPD
  • Viral hepatitis after the age of eleven.
  • Cancer: Lymphoma, Leukemia, Hodgkin's Disease.

Double Red Cell Donation

What is it?

  • A Double Red Cell Donation allows you to give two units of Red Blood Cells in one visit to the Blood Center
  • All of your plasma and platelets plus 500 ml of Saline are returned to your system so you never loose the liquid portion of your blood, which carries nutrients throughout your body.
  • The donation of two units of Red Blood Cells takes approximately 45 minutes.
  • Because you are donating two units of Red Cells, your wait between donations is 16 weeks or 112 days.
  • Double Red Cells count as two donations!
  • Total volume of your blood donations is slightly less than that of a single whole blood donation.

Will I feel the same after donating two units of red blood cells?

Because the plasma platelets and saline is safely returned into the blood stream you may feel even better. This way the liquid portion of blood is maintained which is responsible for carrying nutrients throughout the body. Additionally the process utilizes a smaller needle which may be more comfotable for you.

Elegibilty and Deferral Period

For donors giving two units of red blood cells the deferral period is extended from 56 to 112 days between donations.

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