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Blood Donor Screening Criteria

Should you have questions concerning a donor's medical eligibility, please contact the Volunteer Blood Donor Program at 832-355-4483 (GIVE).

To be eligible to donate blood, you must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in general good health.  According to the standards of the American Association of Blood Banks and FDA regulations, the following additional standards should also be applied to potential blood donors:

  1. Food and Beverages - It is advised to eat within 4 hours prior to donation, preferably a lowfat meal.
  2. Interval Between Donations
    • Whole Blood - 8 weeks
    • Platelets - 1 week between donations Platelet donations may not exceed 24 donations in a year.

At the time of donation, a detailed medical history will be taken, which may result in deferral. The final decision as to the acceptance or rejection of each donor will be made during the screening portion of donation.

Each donor will be asked to provide documentation for positive identification.


These Standards and Policies are derived from standards of the American Association of Blood Banks and FDA regulations.

1.    AGE LIMIT  - 17 and older (picture ID required at donation)

2.    FOOD AND BEVERAGES - It is advised to eat within 4 hours prior to donation, preferably a low fat meal

3.    INTERVAL BETWEEN DONATIONS-    WHOLE BLOOD  - 8 weeks
       PLATELET  1 week
       DOUBLE RED CELLS - 16 weeks

4.    WEIGHT STANDARDS - Minimum 110 lbs.

5.    DONORS With A History Of The Following Are not eligible for donation– see time frames:
    a.    Hepatitis / jaundice after 11 years of age - indefinite (NOTE: Hepatitis associated with gallbladder and mononucleosis acceptable)  
    b.    Heart Disease / surgery (1 year after surgery with written letter from attending physician)
    c.    Kidney, liver, lung disease (current)
    d.    Abnormal bleeding tendencies (related to factor deficiency) - indefinite
e.    I V Drug use - indefinite
f.    Cancer (3 years free from disease following therapy are acceptable.  Exceptions: lymphomas, leukemia)
    g.    AIDS, or persons involved in high-risk activities or groups - indefinite
h.    Malaria   
i.    Chagas
j.    Babesiosis
k.    1-week deferral:  Tattoo and body piercing done at a Texas licensed establishment.
l.    12 months deferral: Tattoo, body piercing, and permanently applied make-up, if done in a non-sterile environment.  
m.    12 months deferral: accidental needle stick
n.    12 month deferral: Transfusion of blood or plasma, organ or tissue transplant
o.    6 weeks: Pregnancy
p.    12 months: HBiG injection for exposure to hepatitis, co-habitation with a person with active hepatitis
q.    Untreated venereal disease
r.    12 month deferral:  Travel to a malarial endemic area as defined by CDC
s.    12 months deferral:  Travel to Iraq
t.    Creutzfeldt- Jakobs Disease or family history of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease  
u.    Travel or lived in the United Kingdom for 3 months or more from1980 and 1996
v.    Lived in Europe for a total time of 5 years or more from 1980 to present
w.    Military duty of 6 months or more on European base (time frame varies depending on country)


6.    UNACCEPTABLE MEDICATIONS
    Proscar (finasteride), Propecia (finasteride), Accutane (isotretinoin) – one month after last dose
    Avodart (dutasteride) – six months after last dose
    Hepatitis B Immune Globulin (HBIG) – one year
    Soriatane (acitretin) – three years after last dose
Tegison (etretinate), Growth Hormone from Human Pituitary Glands (before 1985), I
Insulin from cows (imported from country associated with mad cow) – indefinite
Coumadin –one month from last dose
Arava, Arthrotec, Cytotec, Embrel, Humira, Trexal, Theumatrex, Plaquaenil, Plavix, Remicade, Thalomid - indefinite
    
7.    ACCEPTABLE MEDICATIONS
    Blood pressure medications (anti-hypertensives)
    Cholesterol medications
    No deferral for prophylactic antibiotic medication.
      Antibiotics, anti-viral.  Acceptable after completion of treatment.
    Oral contraceptives (birth control pills)
    Hormone replacement medications (thyroid and female hormone medications)
    Diet pills and weight loss medications
    Analgesics, anti-inflammatories, migraine medications (examples: Darvon, Tylenol, Midol, Anacin, Aspirin, Advil, Aleve, over the counter medications for pain relief)
    Antihistamines
    Tranquilizers, anti-depressants, anti-psychotics
    Diuretics
    Antacids, Hyperacidity medications
    
    Proscar, Propecia, and Accutane - one month

8.    INOCULATIONS, VACCINATIONS
    Waiting Periods:
    a.    No deferral: Hepatitis Vaccine series (if donor is symptom-free), flu (H1N1) and pneumonia
                Allergy injections, Rabies (immunization), HPV
    b.    72 hours:    Steroid injections
    b.    2 weeks:    Rubeola, Mumps, Yellow Fever, and Oral polio vaccine
    c.    4 weeks:    MMR, (Measles, Mumps, rubella) and Vericella Zoster (chicken pox)
     d.     8 weeks:    Smallpox
    e.    12 months:    Unlicensed vaccines
            
Prospective donors should be in good health and feel well the day of donation.

At the time of donation, a detailed medical history will be taken.  Blood pressure, temperature, pulse, and hemoglobin/hematocrit will be done the day of donation.  Acceptability of each donor will be made during the interview portion of donation.  

Should you have any other questions concerning a donor's medical eligibility, please contact the Volunteer Blood Donor Program at 832-355-4483.  

Telephone Number 832-355-1000
Phone Number International
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