Sunday, June 23, 2013

Can I Donate Blood Plasma? Eligibility Requirements for Donation adults without immune diseases, no STD's or tattoos, and non-pregnant women can donate plasma and blood. You are eligible to give blood plasma if you meet the following criteria: you are between the ages of 18-64, are feeling healthy (not sick with cold or flu symptoms,) and are not affected by the conditions below.

If you meet the plasma donation requirements, you are also eligible to donate bone marrow, platelets, double red cells, organs, and other body tissues.

Can I Donate if I have a tattoo?

No, you can't give blood plasma if you have a tattoo - not for a long time. Donation centers (both blood banks and plasma centers) have different rules on deferral time, but generally you can't donate for 6 months - 1 year after getting a tattoo.

How will the blood bank/plasma center determine deferral time? After getting a tattoo, you must bring in a signed doctor's note, complete with contact information of the tattoo artist, address where you got the tattoo, and date the tattoo was inked. Expect some rejections even after bringing a note - blood banks and plasma centers are have several restrictions about donating when you have a tattoo.

The reasons you can't give blood for 6 months - 1 year after getting a tattoo is because of STD risk and lead ink. Long gone are the days where dirty tattoo parlors shared needles between customers - most tattoo parlors are now safe and clean, with bleach sterilized equipment. But donation centers remain cautious.

AIDS, a common STD among shared needle users, takes 6 weeks to show up in the blood, and 6 months to begin showing symptoms. Thus, the 6 month deferral for donating. Also, plasma centers take precaution against blood contaminated with lead - lead being a common ingredient in tattoo ink/coloring.

Can't I just hide my tattoo? Hiding your tattoo to donate isn't advisable - especially if it's a brand new tattoo (inked within the last three months.) Sure, tattoos on the back, shoulders, thighs/legs are easy to hide, but are you sure that your tattoo parlor used safe, sterilized equipment? Old tattoos are safer, but tattooed donors should still take precaution not to contaminate the blood supply.

Can I Donate if I'm pregnant?

No, pregnant women are not allowed to donate plasma at any stage of pregnancy, not during the first, second, or third trimester. The reason pregnant women can't give blood plasma is that low amniotic fluid levels during pregnancy are dangerous (amniotic fluid is made up of plasma.)

Plasma donation replenishes fluids after donating with saline, but the low fluid/plasma levels during donation can result in symptoms like miscarriage (very early pregnancy), nausea, extreme discomfort, racing pulse, loss of bladder control, and premature birth or fainting in late pregnancy.

This is why the pre-screening questions ask if you are currently pregnant before you donate. Pregnant women are deferred from donating for the length of their pregnancy, plus a number of months after giving birth (dependent on the different plasma center's rules.) Pregnant women are normally barred from giving plasma for 6 weeks after giving birth, to allow their bodies to heal.

What if I donated, but didn't know I was pregnant? Donating one time without knowing you were pregnant likely won't cause miscarriage or long-term harm the baby. It will just cause you extreme discomfort, and a feeling of sickness/nausea during donation. Repeat donations however, can cause miscarriage, so once you know you're pregnant, stop plasma donating immediately.

What about if I'm breastfeeding, or on my period?

Yes, you can donate plasma or blood while breastfeeding, or on your period. Once the 6 week restriction after giving birth ends, nursing women are free to donate. However, lactating moms should be careful to stay hydrated - breast milk is made up of 90% water, and plasma donating depletes liquid water in the body.

To ensure sufficient lactation and enough milk supply for the baby, breast feeding mothers should drink at least two 16 oz glasses of water within an hour of donating blood plasma. Also, donate only if your doctor approves, and your baby is a healthy birth weight, or has no trouble maintaining healthy weight.

For women on their period, staying hydrated (by drinking extra water before donating) prevents painful cramps caused by plasma donating during menstruation. Plasma donation during your menstrual period is perfectly safe, if you drink lots of water and have a nutritious meal before going.

Another consideration for donating while on your period is low iron levels. Menstruation depletes iron levels in the blood, and low iron levels is the biggest cause for donation center deferrals/rejection. Menstruating women should take an iron pill, or eat iron rich foods like liver or broccoli before plasma donating.

Can I Donate Plasma After Having a Blood Transfusion?

Without a doubt, one may give blood or even plasma right after having a blood transfusion - however the waiting period (deferral) is actually  a year following the transfusion. At any time you actually have got blood within the us, the probability is that along with sterilized equipment and disposable needles, the blood you got isn't contaminated. Still mutually blood banks and also plasma centers require a 12 month waiting period immediately after a transfusion, immediately after the symptoms of any likely any contaminants would probably surface.

In the event that you accepted a tainted blood IV, or perhaps if you endured cross contaminants, you could actually have developed HIV/AIDS, which may take around 12 months to start showing symptoms. This is actually the reason that volunteer donors must delay 12 months after having a infusion of blood to donate.

If you sailed to French Republic, the UNITED KINGDOM, and also nearly all of European Union and also African states immediately after 1980, and also happened to have a blood transfusion, one is deferred over and over from donating blood and plasma. The logic for this travel limitation is that these regions didn't use sterilized blood transfusion practices right until recently, putting donors who journeyed abroad at high risk for HIV contamination.

Can I Donate If I am Overweight/Obese or Underweight?

Yes, if you are overweight/obese, you can donate plasma. However, most plasma donation centers have a maximum weight limit of 400 pounds, or a BMI (body mass index) limit of over 50. The 400 pound and under weight limit is in place because donating while extremely morbidly obese puts pressure on the heart, potentially causing a heart attack or other heart complications.

Anyone slightly overweight, or obese but under the 400 lbs/over 50 BMI maximum limit, is allowed to donate plasma, as long as the donor is healthy, and their weight isn't causing hypertension (high blood pressure due to stress), heart disease, or diabetes.

If you are underweight, you can donate plasma as well. However, most plasma centers have a minimum weight requirement of 80 pounds, or a lower BMI of 15. You will also receive less money for donating if you are underweight/have a low BMI.

Extremely thin/underweight donors, especially those suddenly losing weight for no reason, might not meet the minimum weight restrictions for donating blood for lack of blood volume to safely give.

Is there an age limit for blood plasma donation?

Yes - senior citizens and the elderly can donate, but only up to the maximum age limit of 64. The lower age limit is not under 18 years old, making the age range for eligible donors 18-64 year old adults. Children and the elderly are barred from donating blood plasma because dangerous complications from dehydration and blood loss increase with very young, and very old age.

Can People with Diabetes Donate?

Yes, people in the US with type 1 or type 2 diabetes can donate plasma, with certain restrictions. To donate plasma with diabetes, you must:

  • Have your diabetes under control through diet and exercise alone (not injectable insulin.)
  • Have not taken injectable insulin or insulin tablets to control diabetes in the past 2 weeks.
  • Have never taken bovine (cattle based) or novo (pork based) insulin due to increased risk of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.
  • Have not taken Soriatane in the past 3 years.
  • Have not taken Accutane, radioactive material injections, Proscar, antivirals, or antibiotics for diabetes in the past 2 months.
  • Bring a signed note from your endocrinologist confirming that your hypoglycemic (blood sugar) levels have been stable for the past two months, and that your diabetes is control through lifestyle changes alone

While plasma donors can donate twice a week with one day interval in between donations, as per FDA regulations, diabetic donors are recommended not to give plasma more than once a month, or once in a 28 day period. Diabetic blood donors should limit blood plasma donation to twice a year, or once in a 6 month period. 

This is because diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) puts stress on small blood vessels of the eyes, kidneys, and heart. Dehydration from blood plasma donation can put high pressure on these delicate blood vessels, leading to numbness, clotting, or even blindness. Only diabetic donors whose diabetes is under controlled without insulin can donate plasma or blood without risk of injury.

Can People with Cancer Donate?

No. People with cancer can't give blood, plasma, platelets, skin tissue, or bone marrow for 5 years after successful cancer treatment (through chemo-therapy or surgical tumor removal.) Current cancer patients, patients whose cancer isn't in remission or has spread to other body tissue in 5 years are ineligible to donate plasma.  Donors who have ever had blood cancer are permanently ineligible to donate:

  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Myeloma
  • Kaposi's Sarcoma

After 5 years, cancer patients whose cancer was successfully treated by surgery, and whose cancer doesn't affect the blood (i.e. breast cancer, brain, liver, stomach, cervical, testicular, and lung cancer survivors) are allowed to donate plasma again. Melanoma (skin cancer) survivors can donate immediately after the tumor/irregular mole/skin growth is removed.

Can You Donate if You Have Anemia?

Anemia is medical term for low hemoglobin levels in the blood. Hemoglobin is made up of iron (FE) and protein, and is used to bind and carry oxygen to vital organs in the body. When you go to donate plasma, the plasma center will first do a finger prick test, which draws a small amount of blood to test hematocrit and hemoglobin levels.

If you have low hematocrit or low hemoglobin (anemia) you will be restricted from donating for one day. This is because anemia while donating causes dizzyness, fainting, fatigue, and trouble breathing in donors.

Common causes of anemia include chronic illnesses, and low iron levels in the blood - especially in menstruating (pre-menopausal) women. Donors with anemia will receive a temporary rejection, but can try again the next day after getting their iron levels up, with iron rich foods (like liver and onions) or by taking an iron pill. Low hemoglobin, or anemia not caused by low iron levels, should be diagnosed by a doctor, and you should stop donating until a diagnosis is determined.

Sickle-cell anemia, a chronic, genetic form of anemia caused by irregular sickle-shaped cells unable to bind iron, is not treatable, and is a criteria for permanent donation deferral .

Can I Donate if I'm sick, or have a cold, or mono?

Plasma donors must happen to be healthy about the day they donate - disqualifying standards incorporate fever over 99 degrees, and also cool or perhaps flu virus signs or symptoms (clammy skin, sniffles, running nostrils, coughing and also sneezing, or perhaps vomiting and queasieness.)

Much much more than ascorbic acid, the body's defense mechanisms relies on plasma in order to make germ-antibodies and blood tissue, and cure the contagion. Plasma donation whilst ill with the cool or perhaps flu virus may delay healing time, and cause difficulties similar to chronic cough, respiratory disease, and pneumonia.

Catching mononucleosis means you can't give blood plasma until the infection is over, and the body has fully healed from infectious bacteria.

Can Smokers Donate Blood Plasma?

Yes, smokers can donate plasma and blood. Most plasma centers recommend waiting one hour after a cigarette to donate, and not smoking for 4 hours after donation.

Can I Donate if I Have Hpv/Herpes/HIV or Hepatitis?

No, you can't donate plasma while you have any STD, or STI including gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV/aids, or Hepatitis A, B, or C. If you have any STD, even if it's been fully treated, or even if you were in a situation that put you at risk for contracting an STD (sharing needles, spending 72 hours or more in lockup, living with someone infected with the disease) you will be barred for 12 months from plasma donating or blood. Incurable infections, like HIV, and Hepatitis B and C, are a permanent bar from plasma donating.

HPV (human papillomavirus), a harmless wart, is spread from skin to skin contact - there is no risk of spreading the papilloma through the blood. Therefore, those with HPV can give blood plasma safely. Those with warts on other parts of their body, like the hands, feet, or facial warts, aren't restricted from donating either.

Herpes, a relative of HPV, is also spread through skin to skin contact - it's a dormant virus that is not spread through the blood. Those with herpes, both HSV1 and HSV2 are therefore eligible to donate plasma. Oral herpes sufferers may donate at any time when blisters are dry and inactive. Those with other types of herpes lesions must wait for 4 weeks of being symptom free to donate, or 4 weeks after the wet (active) blisters have crusted over.

Women who have taken the HPV shot Gardasil are eligible to donate after waiting 3 weeks after the injection.

People with cold sores, a harmless oral strain of herpes simplex virus causing blistering spots on the lips, can donate at any time.

Why Should You Donate Blood Plasma?

Donated plasma makes life-save drug therapies for burn victims and chronic anemia sufferers. One unit of red blood cell donation saves up to 3 lives in cases of otherwise fatal blood loss. Plasma donation also benefits people by making flu shots, and creates drug therapy for premature infants born with low hemoglobin levels. Blood plasma donation really gives the gift of life. For anyone that is a healthy adult between the ages of 18-64, becoming a volunteer blood donor is a noble way to share your good health. If you can give blood plasma, and meet the eligibility requirements above, you can also earn money for your time and generosity.


  1. So Type 1 diabetics cant really donate like you say. Because they're sugars HAVE to be controlled by insulin.

  2. Not all Novo insulins are pork either...

    NovoLog (insulin aspart [rDNA origin]) Injection is a rapid-acting human insulin analog used to lower blood glucose. NovoLog is homologous with regular human insulin with the exception of a single substitution of the amino acid proline by aspartic acid in position B28, and is produced by recombinant DNA technology utilizing Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker's yeast). Insulin aspart has the empirical formula C256H381N65079S6 and a molecular weight of 5825.8.

  3. I was told I could not donate because my iron level was 9.2.. I believe was was told that was too high but what I had sounds kind of low. It sounds like maybe I was too low to donate or was i ok? I should also add that I might be a little bit under weight at 121 pounds and 5 feet 9 inches...

    1. "normal" iron levels for an adult is around like a 12-14/15. i know because i am a severe aneimic, iron pills and infusion dont help much, i get blood tested once every month, and my levels are around a 5.6 on a bad day and a 7 on a good day

  4. I've given blood before, but can I give Plasma since I'm epileptic

  5. i was told i cant donate because i had a seizure 17 years ago. i thought i couldnt be turned away after 5 years???

  6. Can you donate to 2 different plasma centers

    1. No. They will know. Each center has a preferred needle site and there is a donor registry.

  7. Biotest will not let you donate for six months and one day after birthing and not while breastfeeding until weaned for two weeks but they don't tell you that until the tech has an opportune time to humiliate you.

  8. How long do I have to wait to find out if I'm eligible to donate after I answer questions

  9. if i already go yo octmaplasma can i go to another

  10. My friend is type 1 diabetic but isnt gonna tell them.can she get in trouble

  11. Does it matter what blood type you're?

  12. Type 1 diabetes cannot be controlled without insulin. They do not produce insulin on their own. Two weeks without insulin not only would they be very uncontrolled, they would likely be dead.

  13. Can't donate because of face tattoo from SIX YEARS call bs

  14. I was deferred for life because of a genital piercing I got from a professional piercer and i heard that's not accurate that they only make you wait a year, the lady was all over the place and I didn't feel she was accurate? Anybody else know anything about this

  15. I was a perfect candidate until they found that I only had one kidney. I was BORN with only one functioning kidney (the other was nonfunctioning and was removed, but it was NOT kidney disease). Apparently you can't donate with just one kidney, but they wouldn't explain why. I haven't been able to find anything online telling why just one kidney made you ineligible to donate. This site came up on google when I was researching, but I didn't see anything about kidneys.

    Also, can anyone else access page 2? Every time I click the link I just get sent to Amazon...

  16. Don't u think its discrimination if ur older then 64 if in good health was told by doctor it was

  17. Don't u think its discrimination if ur older then 64 if in good health was told by doctor it was

  18. Can I donate when taking suboxone?

    1. do you know if you can go to a different plasma center so you can donate earlier than the 6 month after having a baby?

  19. they told me that I couldn't donate because a long time ago when I was like 17 and I'm about to be 33 that I couldn't donate because I had cancer is white cells in my blood but I never had cancer I don't think that's fair

  20. At the American Red Cross Donor center in Boston MA (Tremont street) for plasma donation they require females weigh 130 lbs.I'm a diabetic type 2 and I've never been asked to have a signed consent from a doctor before a plasma or whole blood donation. Last donation was in July 2015.

  21. Can you donate at a different plasma location without them knowing you had a baby 3 months ago? Or will the new plasma center know as well?

  22. I tried to donate plasma today and I was told I couldn't because 5 years ago I went to jail for 2 months? Is this correct? And if so why?

    1. Its typically just a 12 month wait after you've been incarcerated... Thjs is in Salem Oregon though. Every plasma center has own rules

  23. Can I donate if I have a broken bone, not sure if it is but kicked end table and toe hurts bad

  24. Question : Doctor said I have hemoglobin is dangerously high. Donate blood. There aren't any drives currently in my area. Will donating plasma lower my hemoglobin / iron?

  25. What about lupus and what about a thyroid condition

  26. Apparently, at least at the plasma center I usually go to, not only can you not donate while pregnant, but not for SIX MONTHS after. No matter how far along in the pregnancy you were. It's times like this that I roll my eyes and wish I weren't an honest person. My body is exactly the way it was before I got pregnant. I was pregnant for less than a week--most doctors don't even refer to it as a "real" pregnancy, just a "chemical" pregnancy. That six month rule is frankly insulting to women in my condition. My body is unchanged, and my hormones are already regulated again. I'm not so bothered by the fact that I can't donate as I am by the fact that their policies on transparency in donor eligibility are ridiculously strict. I waited there for almost an entire hour just to be told that I was ineligible to donate. And now the emotional pain of my miscarriage is threatening to overtake me all over again. I don't even get the privilege of returning back to "normal" after going through that emotional pain, thanks to this stupid plasma donation center.

  27. so just because the risk in some people is higher for heart issues if you're over 400 lbs it means those without heart issues/ better than normal hearts can't do it...I hate that they can't do some of these things on a case by case basis. I'm at 407 with a great blood pressure score and cholesterol score to boot and I'm denied... can't I sign a waiver or something...

  28. So if your sick, you cant donate?

    1. No you cannot.. Wait at least a week until after the sickness has cleared.then dont mention it


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