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:
Deferral for Mad Cow Disease
In 2022, Hoxworth removed the indefinite deferral of donors who previously traveled or residenced in the United Kingdom, France, or Ireland. The deferral was related to a theoretical risk of transmitting Cruetzfeldt-Jakob Disease (also known as Mad Cow Disease) to blood transfusion recipients. The FDA has determined this is no longer a concern for donors who have previously lived in the United Kingdom and other European countries.
If you were previously deferred due to travel risks associated with vCJD, please call Hoxworth Blood Center at 513-558-1304. A review of your history is needed prior to a blood or platelet donation so existing deferrals can be appropriately removed.
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.
- 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 3 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 3 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 three months 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)
Following new guidance issued by the FDA in July 2022, Hoxworth has removed indefinite deferrals of donors who were previously deferred from blood donation due to travel or residence in the United Kingdom, France, or Ireland.
The deferral was related to a theoretical risk of transmitting Cruetzfeldt-Jakob Disease (also known as Mad Cow Disease) to blood transfusion recipients. FDA has determined this is no longer a concern for donors who have previously lived in the United Kingdom and other European countries.
The FDA (Food & Drug Administration) no longer requires a lifetime deferral for:
- individuals who resided three months or longer in the United Kingdom between the years of 1980 and 1996, or who received a transfusion in the U.K. anytime since January 1, 1980.
- individuals who spent time in France and Ireland that adds up to five or more years from January 1, 1980 through December 31, 2001.
If you were previously deferred, contact Hoxworth to inquire about future eligibility.
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 3 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.