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Blood Donor Requirements

Please Note: This list of Blood Donor Requirements is not complete. Medical professionals are available at each of our Community Blood Centers and bloodmobiles who will discuss and evaluate each donor's health history and activities in a confidential setting prior to blood donation. The final determination of eligibility is made at that time. Certain donor eligibility criteria are specified by the Food and Drug Administration, State of California, American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) and European Union (EU).

The remaining criteria is determined by the Medical Director of the San Diego Blood Bank and may differ among the types of donations and with the criteria from other blood centers. Donor eligibility criteria is intended to protect the health and safety of the donor and the patient who will receive the transfusion.

The guidelines listed below are to assist you in determining whether you are eligible. Some health conditions or medications may temporarily or permanently prevent some individuals from donating blood. If you have a question regarding your eligibility to donate blood, please call any of our Community Blood Centers at 1-800-4MY-SDBB (1-800-469-7322) or email your question.

Make sure to review our Before You Donate web page.

Please note the effective date listed on these blood donor requirements. Because requirements change from time to time, it is important to check this Web site before each blood donation. The guidelines listed below were last revised on November 04, 2014.



Donation Frequency

  • Whole blood donors may donate every 56 days
  • Platelet donors may donate every 7 Days (donors are scheduled every two weeks)
  • Plasma donors may donate every 4 weeks
  • Double red cell apheresis donors may donate every 112 days

Donor Eligibility: Specific Information

Why we ask questions about sexual contact:
Sexual contact may cause contagious diseases like HIV to get into the bloodstream and be spread through transfusions to someone else.

Definition of "sexual contact":
The words "have sexual contact with" and "sex" are used in some of the questions we will ask you, and apply to any of the activities below, whether or not a condom or other protection was used.

Because different people have different definitions of "sexual contact," the FDA recommends the following clarification:

  • Vaginal sex (contact between penis and vagina)
  • Oral sex (mouth or tongue on someone's vagina, penis or anus)
  • Anal sex (contact between penis and anus)

  • Have AIDS or have ever had a positive HIV test
  • Have ever used needles to take drugs, steroids, or anything not prescribed by your doctor
  • Are a male who has had sexual contact with another male, even once, since 1977
  • Have ever taken money, drugs, or other payment for sex since 1977
  • Have had sexual contact in the past 12 months with anyone described above
  • Have had syphilis or gonorrhea in the past 12 months
  • In the last 12 months have been in juvenile detention, lockup, jail or prison for more than 72 hours
  • Have any of the following conditions that can be signs or symptoms of HIV/AIDS
    • Unexplained weight loss or night sweats
    • Blue or purple spots in your mouth or skin
    • Swollen lymph nodes for more than one month
    • White spots or unusual sores in your mouth
    • Cough that won't go away or shortness of breath
    • Diarrhea that won't go away
    • Fever of more than 100.5° F for more than 10 days