Nearly five million people live in Colorado and it is estimated that approximately three and a half million of them are eligible blood donors. Most health conditions, medications and travel locations won’t make an individual ineligible to give blood so please review these blood donor eligibility requirements to determine if you can support patients in need through blood donation.
Bonfils Blood Center is committed to providing a safe, adequate and efficiently produced blood supply. As part of our commitment to safety, blood donors must meet eligibility requirements to give blood. At your blood donation appointment you will be asked to complete a donor questionnaire that includes several health and lifestyle questions designed to determine your eligibility to donate blood based on the requirements below.
Prior to scheduling an appointment to give blood, we ask you review our pre-screening questions. Based on your answers to these questions, as well as the eligibility information below, some people become ineligible to donate blood (deferred) for a pre-determined amount of time.
The medical guidelines listed are not all-inclusive and are subject to change.
If you have further questions regarding your eligibility, please contact Bonfils’ Donor Relations department at 303.363.2202 or 800.365.0006, opt. 1.
Basic Requirements for Blood Donation:
- Must be at least 18 years of age or 16 or 17 with written parental or guardian consent.
- The minor consent form can be found here.
- Weigh at least 115 pounds for whole blood donations or 110 pounds for platelet and plasma donations. Donors weighing over 350 pounds, please call the Appointment Center 303.363.2300 or 800.365.0006, opt. 2, to schedule your appointment at our Lowry or Westminster Community Donor Center locations. Weight requirements may differ depending on the procedure.
- Be in good general health with no history of hepatitis or HIV/AIDS.
- The donation interval after a whole blood donation is 56 days. Please contact the blood center for the specific interval for other product donations.
- Ambulatory Aid
For their own safety, donors using any type of temporary ambulatory aids including crutches, canes or other walking aides for a recent injury cannot donate until no longer requiring this assistance. Donors using permanent ambulatory aid may be pre-approved to donate by contacting Bonfils' Donor Relations department at 303.363.2202 or 800.365.0006, opt. 1. Unfortunately, mobile bus programs are unable to accommodate those with walking aides.
Female donors that are breastfeeding are eligible to donate.
Donor is eligible with a history of basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer or carcinoma in situ (type/size). All other forms of cancer will be assessed at time of donation. Lymphoma and leukemia are currently permanent deferrals.
Donors are not eligible if they are not feeling well and healthy the day of donation.
Donors with diabetes (type I or II) are eligible to donate. Diabetics who ever used bovine insulin manufactured in the United Kingdom are deferred.
- Heart Disease
Donors with a history of heart disease or heart attacks may be eligible to donate provided six months have elapsed from the incident and approval has been obtained from your physician.
Donors diagnosed with hereditary hemochromatosis or polycythemia are asked to contact Bonfils' Donor Relations department at 303.363.2202 or 800.365.0006, opt. 1 to learn more about donation options.
- Hepatitis/Hepatitis Exposure
- Donor is permanently deferred with a history of hepatitis at age 11 or older
- Donor is deferred for 12 months following hepatitis A, hepatitis B or hepatitis C exposure
- Hepatitis secondary to a disease process is acceptable
- High Blood Pressure
Donors with high blood pressure are eligible to donate if their blood pressure is within an acceptable range when taken on the day of donation, regardless of medication.
Donor is eligible if symptom free for three years.
Pregnant donors are not eligible to donate.
Donor is deferred for 12 months after a transfusion of blood or blood products.
- Donor is deferred for 12 months after travel to a malarial-endemic area.
- Donor is deferred three years after departure from a malarial-endemic area if he/she is an immigrant, refugee, citizen or resident of the area. Residents are defined as having lived in an area for more than five years.
vCJD Variant Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease (human form of mad cow disease)
- Donor is deferred for travel/residence of three months or more in the United Kingdom from 1980-1996.
- Extended periods of time in Europe may be a reason for deferral, however donors should speak with a Bonfils representative before they decide not to donate blood. Each case will be assessed at the time of donation or by calling Bonfils’ Donor Relations department at 303.363.2202 or 800.365.0006, opt. 1.
Individuals who have had a positive test for HIV/AIDS or who are at risk for contracting HIV/AIDS are permanently deferred from donating blood. Risk factors include:
- Use of illegal, street drugs or steroids not prescribed by a doctor, even once
- Taking money or drugs for sex since 1977
- Male to male sexual contact, even once, since 1977
- Ongoing treatment with clotting factor concentrates for hemophilia or similar blood clotting disorders
The following risk factors represent a 12-month deferral for the donor from the date of occurrence:
- Intimate/sexual contact with any person in the above categories
- Accidental contact with another person’s blood/body fluid or an accidental needle stick
- Sexual assault/rape
- Incarceration for more than 72 consecutive hours
Other Lifestyle Factors
- Tattoos/Permanent Make-up
Donor is eligible if tattooing/make-up application is performed in a physician's office using single-use equipment. Otherwise, donor is deferred for 12 months.
- Ear/Body Piercing
Donor is eligible if piercing was performed using single-use equipment. Otherwise, donor is deferred for 12 months.
Note: Piercings done at Claire's stores and similar establishments are acceptable.
Most medications are acceptable, the only medications that are NOT APPROVED are:
- Antibiotics – given for an active infection
Note: Antibiotics given for prophylactic use are acceptable.
- Proscar© (finasteride) – usually given for prostate gland enlargement
- Avodart© (dutasteride) – usually given for prostate enlargement
- Propecia© (finasteride) – usually given for baldness
- Accutane© (Amnesteem, Claravis, Sotret, isotretinoin) – usually given for severe acne
- Soriatane© (acitretin) – usually given for severe psoriasis
- Tegison© (etretinate) – usually given for severe psoriasis
- Growth hormone from human pituitary glands – used only until 1985, usually for children with delayed or impaired growth
- Coumadin (warfarin, Warfilone) – usually given for blood clots in the legs, heart or lungs
- Jalyn (dutasteride/tamsulosin) – usually given for prostate enlargement
- Pradaxa (dabigatran) – used to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots
- Xarelto® (rivaroxaban) – usually given for post-surgery for hip and knee replacement surgeries
Hepatitis B Immune Globulin – given following an exposure to hepatitis B
(Note: This is different from the hepatitis B vaccine which is a series of three injections given over a six-month period to prevent future infection from exposures to hepatitis.)