Deferrals & Restrictions
Deferrals & Restrictions for Blood Donation
Certain conditions, activities or medications may prevent you from donating blood either permanently or for a specific period of time. Below you will find a list detailing common deferrals and restrictions:
Some medications may prevent you from donating blood either permanently or for a specific period of time. However, many medications will not prevent an individual from donating blood, including:
- Aspirin: Aspirin will not impact whole blood donation. Platelet donors must wait 2 days after ingestion.
- Birth control pills.
- Blood Pressure Medication: Provided your blood pressure is under control.
- Antibiotics: Donors may give after completing their course as directed and feel generally well and healthy.
- Diabetes medication: Oral medication is acceptable; insulin dependent diabetics may donate provided they have not used beef-source insulin since Jan. 1, 1980.
- Heart Disease/Other Medications.
For a full list of medication deferrals, please contact our Donor Services team at 513-558-1304.
Tattoos & Body Piercings
Tattoos are acceptable if a sterile technique was used in a state-regulated, biohazard-controlled facility in Ohio, Kentucky or other selected states detailed below. The site must be clean, dry, and pain-free or the donor is deferred until the site is healed.
If a licensed artist did not apply the tattoo or permanent make-up, donors are deferred for 12 months from the date of the application. Also, donors who have had ear or body piercing using sterile techniques are acceptable. Otherwise, they are deferred 12 months.
States acceptable for tattoos include:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
You cannot donate while pregnant; you may donate six weeks after the pregnancy has ended. Donation while breastfeeding is acceptable.
You will be asked about your travel history during the screening process. This is done to determine if you traveled to an area that could pose a risk to the blood supply.
If you travel to a known malarial country you must wait one year to make your next donation. If you are unsure of a malarial zone, our staff will be able to assist you with this information.
If you have lived in a malarial zone for five years or longer you must wait three years following your immigration to the U.S. in order to donate.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD)
The FDA (Food & Drug Administration) put in place a lifetime deferral for individuals who resided three months or longer in the United Kingdom between the years of 1980 and 1996. Additionally, there is a permanent deferral in place for individuals who spent time in Europe that adds up to five or more years from 1980 to the present.
This deferral is also in place for those who were a member of the U.S. Military, a civilian military employee or dependent of the U.S. Military for a period of six months or longer during the time frame of 1980 through 1996.
List of countries in the United Kingdom
England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, The Isle of Man, The Channel Islands, Gibraltar, The Falkland Islands.
List of countries in Europe
Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark (includes Greenland and Faroe Islands), Finland, France (includes Martinique, Guadeloupe, Reâunion, French Guiana, Mayotte and Corsica), Germany, Greece (includes Crete, Cyprus, and other Greek Islands), Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Italy (includes Vatican City, Capri, Sardinia, Sicily, and other Italian Islands), Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Netherlands (Holland), Norway (includes Svalbard), Poland, Portugal (includes Azores and Madeira Island), Romania, Slovak-Republic (Slovakia), Slovenia, Spain (includes Canary Islands, North African Territories of Ceuta, Isla de Alboran, Islas Chafarinas, Melilla, Penon de Alhucemas and Penon de Velez de la Gomera), Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom (includes England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, The Isle of Man, The Channel Islands, Gibraltar, The Falkland Islands), Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (includes Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia).
You may NOT donate at any time (permanent disqualification) if you have/had:
- Tested positive for HIV.
- Participated in high-risk behaviors associated with HIV infection. At this time, this does include any sexual contact between men within the past 12 months. Hoxworth Blood Center is regulated by the FDA and must abide by this policy.
- Certain forms of Cancer, including Leukemia, lymphoma, or multiple myeloma.