The Blood Center
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Deferral Guidelines


  • Do not present proper identification.
  • Do not feel well.
  • Are under 16 years of age (16-year-olds must have signed parental consent).
  • Weigh less than 110 pounds (16-year-olds must weigh at least 130 pounds).
  • Have a history of Viral Hepatitis after the age of 10, or ever had Hepatitis A, B or C.
  • Have Hemophilia or other bleeding disorders.
  • Are pregnant or have given birth in the past 6 weeks.
  • Have had Malaria in the past 3 years or visited an endemic area in the past 12 months (see below).
  • Have had dental work or oral surgery in the past 72 hours (cleaning and filling - only wait 24 hours).
  • Have had body piercing or branding in the past 12 months.
  • Have had a tattoo in the past 12 months (one month wait only if tattoo applied at a licensed facility in Louisiana, Texas, Alabama or Mississippi - see below for details).
  • Have been given the MMR (Measles/Mumps/Rubella) vaccine or had chickenpox in the past month.
  • Have had Heart Disease or heart problems and are currently taking heart medication.
  • Have ever taken etretinate (Tegison or Soriatane) for Psoriasis.
  • Have taken Accutane, oral Retin-A, Proscar or Propecia in the past month.
  • Have taken Avodart (Dutasteride) in the past 6 months.
  • Have had a blood transfusion or tissue transplant in the past 12 months.
  • Have had certain types of cancer (please consult Blood Drive Supervisor).
  • Have Sickle Cell Anemia (Sickle Cell trait okay).
  • Have a chronic lung, liver or kidney disease (please consult Blood Drive Supervisor).
  • Have taken antibiotics orally in the past 24-48 hours or by injection in the past 72 hours.
  • Have Tuberculosis and are currently taking medication for it.
  • Are HIV positive or have participated in activities that place you at high risk for contracting the virus.


  • The deferral criteria for tattoos has changed from 1 year to 1 month only if applied at a licensed Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, or Texas tattoo facility and performed under aseptic conditions with single use equipment.
  • If your tattoo was not applied at a licensed Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, or Texas tattoo parlor, you must wait 1 year from the date of your tattoo to donate.
  • Tattoos applied by a Dermatologist (M.D.) as permanent makeup (eyeliner, lipcolor, etc.) are acceptable - no waiting period.
  • Note: You still must wait one year to donate after body piercing or branding.


  • Mexico
    • No malaria risk exists along the United States – Mexico border. No malaria risk exists in the major resorts, cruise ship ports, and surrounding areas along the Pacific and Gulf coasts.
    • Costa Maya, Cozumel, Calica, Cancun, and Playa del Carmen, or areas surrounding these cities are no longer malaria risk areas. Individuals who have traveled to these areas are eligible to donate.

If you were deferred from donating blood for these reasons you may be eligible to donate

(800) 86-BLOOD

Last revised 12/2012