LifeStream Blood Bank is monitoring the rapidly evolving outbreak of COVID-19. LifeStream is absolutely committed to safety for donors, patients, our employees, volunteers, hospitals we serve and our communities.
Please click here for more information regarding LifeStream’s response to COVID-19.
ALL VOLUNTEER WHOLE BLOOD DONORS MUST:
- Be at least 15 years old
- Weigh at least 115 pounds (donors ages 15-18: click here for height-weight requirements)
- Be in general good health
- Wear a face covering.
- Please click here for more information regarding LifeStream’s response to COVID-19.
Our young donors are vitally important to the future of blood donation. Learn about iron and blood donation in teens here.
All 15- and 16-year-olds require parental consent prior to donating. Download the Consent Form below:
ELIGIBILITY BY DONATION TYPE
Power or Double Red
A Power Red donation is 2 units of collected red blood cells as opposed to a single unit taken during a whole-blood donation. To be eligible for a Power Red donation, you must meet the requirements for a whole-blood donation and satisfy the following to ensure the process is safe for you.
On a mobile blood drive
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At a donor center: Total blood volume is the added factor; your donor specialist will be able to tell you whether you qualify.
Platelets and Plasma
To donate platelets, donors must meet the general whole-blood donation requirements. Prior to any apheresis procedure, LifeStream’s trained apheresis team will evaluate the donor’s total blood volume and vein access to determine if an apheresis donation is possible.
COMMON QUESTIONS AND DONATION RESTRICTIONS
There is no maximum age to give blood. The minimum age to donate whole blood is 15 years old. The minimum age to donate platelets and plasma is 17 years old.
You can donate blood if you have completed the prescribed dose of antibiotics and no longer have any symptoms of what caused them to be prescribed.
Before donation, every potential donor has his or her blood pressure taken to ensure readings are safely within guidelines to donate. “Extreme” levels are 90/50 and 180/100. Below the first or above the second will defer the potential donor. And you always get a free check to know for sure!
- If you currently have any form of cancer, you may not donate.
- If you have non-melanoma skin cancer (basal cell or squamous cell cancer of the skin), you may donate as soon as you are healed from the complete removal of the area involved.
- For melanoma skin cancer, you must wait 1 year from the date of treatment completion.
- If you have ever had leukemia or lymphoma you may not donate (except for those with successfully treated childhood leukemia).
- All other types of cancer are acceptable IF your doctor has declared you “cancer-free” and your treatment (such as radiation and/or chemotherapy) is complete. Note: Females with breast cancer who are taking hormone-blocking medications are eligible, and donors who are cancer-free but have radioactive implants are also eligible.
We advise potential donors with diabetes to be well-controlled on their diet and/or medication, without significant recent episodes of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. Otherwise, donors with diabetes are eligible to donate blood.
Heart and Lung Problems
- Heart murmurs or irregular heart beat: Eligible as long as you have no limitations on your activity from your provider and you have no problems with activities.
- Pacemaker: Eligible as long as you have no limitations on your activity from your provider and you have no problems with activities.
- Heart attack, angina: Eligible 6 months after your last event, as long as your doctor has given you verbal permission to donate (no note required), you have no problems with normal activities, and you have no restrictions or limitations from your provider.
- Heart Surgery (Coronary artery bypass, valve repair, stent placement): Eligible 6 months after the procedure, as long as your doctor has given you verbal permission to donate (no note required), you have no problems with normal activities, and you have no restrictions or limitations from your provider.
- Aortic stenosis, moderate to severe (not repaired): You may not donate.
- Asthma: Eligible, as long as you are breathing well today.
High blood pressure
If you have high blood pressure, you may donate blood as long as your reading at the site of donation is not more than 180/100. We will take your blood pressure right before you donate, so you get a free check to know for sure!
Low Iron or Anemia
Some donors are more at risk for having depleted body iron stores, including female donors under age 50, teenage donors of both sexes, and frequent blood donors of both sexes. We recommend a diet rich in iron-containing foods, but at-risk donors should consider supplementation with low-dose iron taken by mouth (discuss with your healthcare provider first, however). More information is available upon request.
Medications taken for blood pressure, cholesterol and birth control are all acceptable for giving blood. Certain acne medications and prostate medications are cause for deferral. Click below to learn more about the medications that could be cause for deferral:
With rare exceptions, if you are pregnant, you should not donate blood until 6 weeks have passed following the delivery of your baby. After 6 weeks, you are eligible to resume donation, even if you are breastfeeding (we advise you to consider a conversation with your doctor before doing so, however)
Recent FDA changes to blood donor criteria mean some donors who couldn’t give blood in the past may be able to donate! Individuals must wait 3 months to donate blood if they have had sexual contact:
- with anyone who has HIV/AIDS or has had a positive test for the HIV/AIDS virus.
- with a prostitute or anyone else who takes money or drugs or other payment for sex.
- with anyone who has ever used needles to take drugs or steroids, or anything not prescribed by their doctor.
- Male donors: with another male.
- Female donors: with a male who had sexual contact with another male.
Tattoos and Piercings
One of the greatest misconceptions about blood donation is that you can’t donate if you have a tattoo or a piercing. This is a myth. As long as your tattoo or piercing is healed and was done at a professionally licensed establishment in California, you can donate! Otherwise, you will have to wait 3 months. A professional licensed establishment means that the person receiving the tattoo or piercing was treated with sterile instruments and unused ink (packages that should have been opened in front of them, contents used one time, and then disposed of) and see posted or are shown upon request a valid license to practice issued by the State of California. For more info, click here.
Travel is evaluated within 3 months of return. Some countries are entirely malaria risk-free while others have some areas of risk. Areas outside of the U.S. that are at risk for malaria change as time goes on. The only way to tell for sure whether travel or residency affects your donation status is to come see us and allow us to fully evaluate specific factors. You can check before or after you go at https://www.cdc.gov/malaria/travelers/index.html.
Thanks to recent FDA updates, those who have traveled to U.S. military bases in Europe from 1980 through 1996, are now eligible to donate. For more info about FDA updates to blood donation eligibility, click here.
- COVID-19 vaccine: No deferral for FDA approved COVID-19 vaccine, as long as you are feeling well. For more info, click here.
- Influenza: No deferral, as long as you are feeling well
- Tetanus: No deferral, as long as you are feeling well
- Pneumococcus pneumonia: No deferral, as long as you are feeling well
- Meningitis: No deferral, as long as you are feeling well
- HPV (Human Papillomavirus): No deferral, as long as you are feeling well
- Hepatitis A vaccination for prevention: No deferral, as long as you are feeling well
- Hepatitis A Immune Globulin for exposure: Wait 1 year after injection
- Hepatitis B vaccination for prevention: Wait 2 weeks after injection
- Hepatitis B Immune Globulin for exposure: Wait 1 year after injection
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella: Wait 4 weeks after injection
- Chickenpox, shingles (Varicella Zoster Virus): Wait 4 weeks after injection