Can I Donate Blood?

In order to ensure that our blood center can provide a safe supply of fresh blood to hospitals throughout New Jersey, we have a few requirements for blood donor eligibility, as well as some blood donation restrictions. One thing that’s not restricted is your age—so long as you are over the age of 16 (with parental consent), and you meet other blood donor eligibility standards, you can donate blood in NJ. We encourage people of all ages to donate bloodNJ is in constant need for a fresh supply and every donation counts

Blood Donor Eligibility Requirements

Wondering if you can donate blood? Donor eligibility is best determined by one of the professionals at our blood centers throughout New Jersey. However, there are some quick ways to learn if you may be able to donate.

Can I give blood if…

  • I am not feeling well, have a cold, sore throat, asthma, or cold sore?
    You must wait until your symptoms clear before giving blood.
  • I am on antibiotics for anything other than acne?
    You must wait 24 hours after your last dose.
  • I recently had a blood transfusion?
    You cannot give until a year after your last blood transfusion.
  • I am taking Accutane, Proscar or Propecia?
    You must wait a month after your last dose to donate blood.
  • I am taking Avodart?
    You have to wait six months after your last dose to give blood.
  • I had a pregnancy or miscarriage?
    You can give blood after six weeks within your birth or miscarriage.
  • I have Lyme Disease?
    You must wait one year after your final treatment to give blood.
  • I have a sexually transmitted disease?
    You cannot donate blood until one year after diagnosis and treatment.
  • I have cancer other than Basal Cell?
    You must wait three years after you have been treated to give blood.
  • If I am taking aspirin, vitamins, or birth control pills?
    Yes, you may still donate blood if taking daily aspirin, vitamins, or birth control.
  • If I am taking blood pressure or cholesterol medications?
    In most cases, yes, those taking blood pressure or cholesterol medications can still donate blood. Other medications can be evaluated by a nurse at our blood donation centers or blood drive locations.

Blood Donation Travel Restrictions

For your convenience and to ensure the safety of the blood supply, if you have traveled out of the country in the last 12 months, please reference the malarial risk countries as listed on the CDC’s website here, as some travel destinations may create ineligibility to donate, click here.

If you have any additional questions related to travel, you may also contact our Donor Services Dept. at 732-842-5750 ext. 235 in advance of your appointment to ensure that you are still eligible to donate.

Tattoo Restrictions for Giving Blood

Our New Jersey blood center requires that you can donate blood in NJ if you have had the tattoo in the state of New Jersey so long as the tattoo was applied using single-use needle and single use ink. If you had a tattoo applied in another state, you must wait one year before you donate blood in NJ.

Blood Donation Disqualifications

If you have had any of these conditions or are part of any of the following risk groups, you will be considered someone who cannot donate blood.

  • Member of any high-risk group for AIDS
  • Hepatitis (past or present)
  • Tegison for Psoriasis
  • IV user of illegal drugs, even once
  • Travel to the U.K. from 1980 through 1996 with 3+ months of accumulated time (1980-1996)
  • Travel to Europe with 5+ years of accumulated time (1980-Present)
  • Current or former military personnel (including civilians) and their dependents, who resided for 6+ months at military bases in Germany, U.K., Belgium and The Netherlands (1980-1990), or resided for 6+ months at military bases in Greece, Turkey, Spain, Portugal and Italy (1980-1996)

How Old Do You Have to Be to Donate Blood

Our basic blood donor rules state that you must be 16 years or older and at least 120 pounds to donate blood in NJ. If you are 16, you must have parental consent, click here to download.

How Often Can You Donate Blood?

You must wait 8 weeks (56 days) between regular whole blood donations and 16 weeks (112 days) to donate 2 unit red cells.

Non-Donors Can Still Support Our Life Saving Mission!

Please keep in mind that if you cannot physically give blood, you can still help the Central Jersey Blood Center! There are numerous volunteer opportunities in New Jersey. For example, you may organize a blood drive or participate in volunteer opportunities at our blood drives. We want everyone to feel welcome at our blood donor centers and mobile blood drive locations, and every volunteer makes a difference here.

It’s in your blood to save a life—donate todayClick here to contact our NJ blood center or call 732-842-5750.

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