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Eligibility information

You may be able to donate if you:

  • are in good health and feel well the day of their donation
  • are least 17 years of age, or 16 with parental consent 
  • weigh at least 110 pounds 
  • have a photo ID

New donor eligibility guidelines

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced its final guidance for individual risk-based questions that determine a blood donor’s eligibility. For the first time in 40 years, blood donor eligibility will be evaluated independent of sex, gender, or sexual orientation. With this change, the donor history questionnaire that’s used to screen potential blood donors will contain the same series of questions for all donors. All donors will be evaluated the same way.

What changed?

The FDA’s previous donor eligibility criteria based on sexual orientation, which prevented gay and bisexual men from donating blood, has been eliminated. The new FDA policy ensures safety of the blood supply, aims to treat all potential donors equally, and gives more people the opportunity to donate blood.

The Blood Donor Center at Boston Children’s Hospital implemented these changes in our donor history questionnaire on December 12, 2023. We look forward to welcoming new and returning blood donors.

Common eligibility criteria

  • Travel: If you traveled to an area where malaria is a risk, there is a three-month deferral period. Travel to other areas is acceptable!
  • Pregnancy: Donors must wait at least six weeks post-partum before donating.
  • Cancer: Donors with a history of cancer must wait one year from the date of their last treatment.
  • Tattoos and piercings: Tattoos and piercings are OK, as long as they were performed in a licensed and regulated facility and are fully healed. Anything done by oneself or outside of those facilities are a three-month deferral.
  • Antibiotics: Donors need to wait 24 hours after completing the final dose.
  • Additional criteria for platelet donors: Do not take aspirin or other anti-platelet drugs within 48 hours of your donation.

View additional blood donor eligibility guidelines at this link

If you have further questions regarding your eligibility, call us at 617-355-6677.

To make an appointment to donate, please visit https://www.bostonchildrens.org/halfpints.