What Are The Dos And Donts Before Donating Blood
Have you explored the ins and out of giving blood restrictions, know youre eligible to donate, but not sure how to proceed with preparing to donate? There are several steps you can take to ensure that your donation goes smoothly. The American Red Cross provides a guide for first-time donors and a FAQ list. Complete Care has also created a handy guide for what to do before giving blood.
You Are Taking Certain Medications Or Antibiotics
What medications disqualify you from donating blood? Frankly, because there are so many medications this question is one of the more complex ones to answer regarding giving blood restrictions and rules. As a general rule, most OTC medications will not disqualify you from giving blood. If you take prescription medications, look at the ARCs list of medications to see if your medication may defer your donation.
The following are the most frequently discussed medications when it come to giving blood restriction:
- Aspirin: If you take Aspirin or medications containing Aspirin, you will likely be allowed to donate whole blood. If you wish to donate only platelets, you will need to wait the space of two full days between the last time you took a pill and the day you donate blood.
- Blood thinners: Since blood thinners affect the ability of your blood to clot, individuals taking certain types of blood thinners will not be allowed to donate.
- Birth control pills:Women taken birth control are eligible to donate blood.
- Insulin: Diabetics using insulin are eligible to donate blood so long as their diabetes is well under control.
For most antibiotics, wait until you have completed the full course of antibiotics if you are taking oral medication, and wait until 10 days after the last injection if youre receiving antibiotics by injection.
Am I Eligible To Donate Blood What Will Disqualify Me From Donating Blood
According to the Red Cross eligibility criteria, donors may be disqualified from donating if:
- They are younger than 17 years of age.
- They dont weigh at least 110 pounds.
- They are taking certain medications .
- They have certain medical conditions like hemochromatosis, hepatitis, HIV, tuberculosis, or other active infections.
- They are actively using illegal drugs.
- They have recently traveled to or lived in a country that is high-risk for malaria.
- They are pregnant or have given birth in the last 6 weeks.
- They have been treated for sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis or gonorrhea in the last 3 months.
- They have received a tattoo in the last 3 months in a state that does not regulate tattoo facilities.
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When Should I Not Donate Blood
You shouldnt give blood if any of these statements apply to you:
- Im currently taking an antibiotic for an infection or have taken an antibiotic in the past seven days.
- I havent eaten a well-balanced and substantial meal within four to six hours of my donation.
- I have a history of hepatitis, heart disease or most cancers within the last five years.
- Ive had a blood transfusion or accidental needle stick within the past 12 months.
- Ive gotten a tattoo less than three months ago.
- Ive had major surgery in the past six months or pregnancy within the past six weeks.
- Ive tested positive for HIV.
- Ive had sex with someone who tested positive for HIV in the past 12 months.
- Ive used illegal IV drugs or had sex with someone who has in the past 12 months.
- Ive received or given money, drugs or any other payment for sex.
- Im a man who had sexual contact with another man in the past three months.
- Im a woman who had sexual contact with a man who had sexual contact with another man in the past three months.
You Were Recently Vaccinated
If you have recently received a vaccination or immunization, you may be required to wait for a period of time before being eligible to donate blood. The major exceptions are the Smallpox vaccination andliving in close proximity of someone who receives the Smallpox vaccination. It is requested that you wait 8 weeks after receiving a Smallpox vaccine or after living in close proximity to someone who received the Smallpox vaccine before donating blood. This waiting period should be extended if you experience complications.
COVID-19 vaccination restrictions are, at the time of writing, still subject to change. However, at the present moment, the ACR states that blood donations are Acceptable if you were vaccinated with an Inactivated or RNA based COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Moderna or Pfizer providing you are symptom-free and fever-free. If you received a different type of COVID-19 vaccine or are unsure what type of vaccine you received, you may be subject to a waiting period before you are eligible to donate blood.
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Am I Needed As A Blood Donor
A blood donor is a special kind of volunteer. One donation of blood can help save up to five patients’ lives.
Long Island Blood Services provides blood services to hospitals throughout Long Island. We are fortunate to live in a region where sophisticated medical facilities and transplant programs are available. These programs require many blood donations.
When there is not enough blood, patients wait for hours for the blood they need, delaying their recovery. Patients who are weak from low iron wait for red cells patients whose bodies have been assaulted by chemotherapy wait for platelets that will allow their blood to clot again.
Patients who have been on an organ transplant list for months or years and finally get an opportunity for an organ will lose that opportunity if there is no blood.
What To Expect When Donating Blood
When you get to the donation location, you will be asked to:
Give your name and address, and show a government issued ID.
Fill out a questionnaire that asks you about your general health and travel history.
Have your blood pressure, pulse, and temperature measured. Remember, you will not be able to donate blood if you have a fever, or an abnormal pulse or blood pressure reading.
Have your hemoglobin measured, or the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body. Your finger will be pricked with a sterile needle and your hemoglobin will be measured. If your hemoglobin is too low, you will be unable to donate blood.
If you meet the criteria, youre ready to donate blood! The process consists of the following steps:
A site on your arm is cleaned with an alcohol pad.
A sterile needle is placed into your arm vein. This will feel like a quick pinch.
You will sit and relax while a pint of your blood collects in a bag, which will last for about 8-10 minutes.
When your donation is complete, the needle is removed from your arm and is bandaged.
You will rest for about 10-15 minutes, while you enjoy a refreshment. This allows your body to adjust to the very slight decrease in your blood volume.
You can expect your donation to take about one hour.
Does Medication Affect Blood Donation
Most commonly used medications like over-the-counter supplements, medications used to control high blood pressure, and birth control pills do not affect your eligibility to donate blood. However, certain drugs do affect your ability to give blood, and some medications disqualify you as a blood donor completely. . There are also some medications that temporarily disqualify you from donating blood. If you take these drugs, you must wait a period of time before donating blood.
Where Can I Donate
Many nonprofit groups collect blood. Your employer may hold blood drives. You also can donate at mobile blood banks. Look for accredited blood banks on the website of the AABB or search for your local American Red Cross. Some blood banks will pay for plasma or platelet donations, but not for blood.
Guide to Blood Donation
- American Red Cross: Blood Needs and Blood Supply,How Blood Donations Help,50 Quick Blood Facts,Requirements by Donation Type,Facts About Blood and Blood Types,FAQ: Coronavirus ,Plasma Donations from Recovered COVID-19 Patients,Platelet Donation,9 Things You Should Know Before You Donate in 2019.
- FDA: Revised Recommendations for Reducing the Risk of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Transmission by Blood and Blood Products.
- Mayo Clinic: Blood Donation,Blood Donor Program.
- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: Frequently Asked Questions About Donating Blood and Platelets.
- KidsHealth: Donating Blood.
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Eligibility Requirements For Plasma Donation
- Be over 18 years old
- Weigh more than 110 pounds
- Complete a medical screening
- Pass a medical examination, which generally includes a blood test and viral test for transmissible viruses like hepatitis and HIV
- Provide proof of identity and address
- Follow a diet that includes sufficient daily protein intake
Eligibility is at the sole discretion of each plasma collection facility, so you will need to research any site-specific requirements before donation, including the impact of taking certain medications.
Debunking Myths About Giving Blood
You might be asking yourself, can I donate? We are here to debunk some of the myths when it comes to blood donation.
Can I donate with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes? Yes! As long as your glucose level is within the target range and you are in overall good health, you will be eligible to donate. We recommend checking in with your diabetes healthcare provider before you make an appointment to donate to get their feedback.
Diabetics who give blood should closely monitor their glucose levels post-donation and be sure to eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water.
Individuals who used the bovine-derived insulin at any time since 1980 will NOT be eligible to donate, due to concerns regarding the mad cow disease. If you are unsure if you have used this type of insulin, check with your diabetes physician. If you have any questions regarding your diabetes and blood donations, please contact your healthcare provider.
I am on Medications can I donate blood? Most medications will not defer you from donating blood as long as the medications is not prescribed to treat an infectious disease or an anticoagulant. You can also donate whole blood while taking aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, or other NSAIDS however, you will not be eligible to donate platelets if you have taken these medications within 48 hours of your donation.
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Policy And Process Information
Blood Donor Eligibility
All blood donors are required to meet FDA eligibility criteria to donate blood, every time. These eligibility criteria apply to all U.S. blood collection organizations. Less than 10 percent of the eligible population actually donates each year. The gender-specific donation criteria and questions on the health history questionnaire are designed to ensure that the blood collection process is as safe as possible for the donors as well as for the recipients of blood. Learn more about blood donation eligibility.
Health History Screening
During the pre-donation health history screening, the Red Cross uses a questionnaire that is developed by the blood industrys professional organization, AABB, and approved by the FDA to assess an individuals health history. Health history questions are based on past and current behavior risks Sexual activity questions are based on specific behaviors, not on sexual orientation. The words, have sexual contact with and sex are used in some of the questions, and apply to any sexual activities , regardless of whether a condom was used during the activity.
Men who have sex with men
The FDA guidance Revised Recommendations for Reducing the Risk of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Transmission by Blood and Blood Products states, Defer for 3 months from the most recent sexual contact, a man who has had sex with another man during the past 3 months. All U.S. blood collection organizations must follow this federal requirement.
What Happens To My Blood After I Give It
- Each donation of whole blood is divided into its components:
- Red cells, essential to carry vital oxygen to the body’s tissues. Can be stored for 42 days.
- Platelets, a clotting component needed by patients fighting leukemia and other cancers. Must be used within 5 days.
- Plasma is the nutrient-rich fluid that travels with blood cells through the body. Fresh frozen plasma is given to patients experiencing clotting problems.
- Cryoprecipitate is a plasma concentrate rich in the specific clotting proteins that hemophiliacs lack.
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Can You Donate Plasma If You Are Taking Antibiotics
Many individuals rely on donated plasma to treat serious medical conditions, including burn victims, cancer patients, and people with liver or clotting factor disorders. Plasma donors help those in need live healthier more productive and fulfilling lives, and donors are compensated for their contribution.
DoNotPay helps you locate a plasma donation center near you and provides valuable information on eligibility requirements and the plasma donation process.
What Medicines Prevent You From Donating Blood
Blood thinners or anticoagulants
Blood thinners or anticoagulants are medications that prevent the blood from clotting. Examples include heparin, warfarin , and fondaparinux . People who take blood thinners currently cannot donate blood because these drugs cause abnormal blood clotting. You will need to wait 2 days, 7 days, 14 days, or 1 month after your last dose before you can donate.
Antiplatelet medications stop platelets in the blood from clumping together and forming a clot. If you take an antiplatelet drug like aspirin or Plavix , you can donate whole blood. However, you must wait anywhere from 2-14 days before you can donate platelets.
People taking antibiotics are potential blood donors 24 hours after their last dose. However, you should consult a physician before donating because an active infection can disqualify you from donating.
Isotretinoin is a prescription drug for severe acne. Isotretinoin is a category X drug, meaning it can cause birth defects. Therefore, donated blood from a person who takes isotretinoin can cause harm to the fetus if the receiver of that blood is pregnant. For this reason, you are not eligible to donate blood if you are taking isotretinoin. You will need to wait until at least one month after your last dose before you can be a potential blood donor.
BPH and hair loss drugs
Rheumatoid arthritis treatment
Multiple sclerosis treatments
What Medications Can I Take If I Want To Give Blood
For the most part, taking over-the-counter and prescription medications will not prevent you from giving blood at the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center.
Below are some examples and answers to common questions.
Pain relievers and common prescriptions:Yes
As far as OTC pain relievers like Aleve, Advil or Tylenol go, you can give blood without any problems after taking them. Same goes with prescriptions for conditions like type 2 diabetes and asthma.
You can give whole blood if you take aspirin, but not platelets because aspirin affects the way they function. You wont be able to give platelets right away if youre taking drugs like Feldene or Plavix to prevent a stroke or heart attack.
to see a full list of medications that may affect your ability to give a whole blood donation.
Antibiotics:Yes and no
Theres one large group of prescription drugs that can prevent you from donating: antibiotics. We dont want to take a donation from you if you have circulating bacteria in your system.
However, you can give blood seven days after finishing your last dose of an antibiotic for an infection, and if you are taking antibiotics for preventive reasons like acne you still can donate.
No blood thinners
If you have been prescribed blood thinners to prevent blood clots and strokes, you may not be able to donate because of the risk of excess bruising or bleeding.
to see a full list of medications that may affect your ability to give a platelet donation.
Some are always no
Blood Donation Eligibility Basic Requirements
Before we get too deep into giving blood restrictions, lets cover a few requirements that dont have anything to do with your health. In order to donate blood, you must:
- Be at least 17 years old. In some states, you can give blood at 16 years-of-age with parental consent.
- Weight at least 110 lbs. The weight limit is enforced because the amount of blood in your body is roughly proportional to your weight the bodies of individuals who weigh less than 110 lbs. may not respond well to the standard amount of blood drawn during donations.
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Complete Care And Our Patients Thank You For Donating Blood
Complete Care and our patients thank you for donating blood! Like all emergency rooms, Complete Care relies on donated blood to help save the lives of our patients. Just one donation can help save up to three lives! Blood cells, platelets, plasma its all useful and potentially life-saving. Find a local blood drive near you and schedule a date to donate today. And thank you, from the bottom of our hearts!
If you find yourself feeling especially ill after a blood donation, Complete Care is here to help. We are open 24/7 and welcome walk-ins. We are here for any of your health concerns. Visit your nearest Complete Care location today for quick, efficient, patient-centered care today.
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What Medications Will Prevent You From Donating Blood
Most over-the-counter medications will not prevent you from donating blood. If you take prescription medications, check out this list from the American Red Cross to see if you can still donate blood.
You CANT donate blood if you take the following medications:
Prostate and hair loss medications
You CAN donate blood if you take the following medications:
Blood pressure medications
Never stop medications prescribed by your healthcare provider in order to donate blood. Its always a good idea to keep your healthcare team in the loop if you are planning to donate blood.
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