Donor Eligibility

The following is general donation criteria. This is not a complete list. The information below serves only as a guideline to donor eligibility. Please contact The Donor Center at Roswell Park at 716-845-8275 if you have any questions.

Attention FEMALE Donors

If you plan to schedule a platelet donation and have not donated at the Donor Center since mid-July 2016 have a history of pregnancy, please contact the Donor Center before scheduling your appointment online. Recent regulatory requirements have resulted in a change to the eligibility criteria for some female platelet donors, and we would like the opportunity to speak with you over the phone before scheduling your appointment. Please call (716) 845-8275

For All Donations

  • Minimum weight: 110 pounds
  • Minimum age: 17 years of age
  • Must be in general good health (not experiencing any active cold or flu symptoms, headaches, cold sore or infections at time of donation)
  • Must not have donated whole blood within the last 56 days.

*Please be sure to eat a substantial meal before your donation.

Additional Criteria

  • Antibiotics: A donor with an infection may not be eligible to donate. Reason for antibiotic use must be assessed and a deferral period may be necessary after completing an antibiotic medication.
  • Aspirin: Acceptable for whole blood donations. A platelet donor must wait 72 hours from the date of their last dose of aspirin or medications containing aspirin. (Please consult with your physician before discontinuing aspirin that has been medically prescribed).
  • Blood Pressure: Acceptable limits are: Systolic (first number) 180 or below and diastolic (second number) 100 or below at the time of donation. Most blood pressure medications are acceptable.
  • Surgery-please alert the collections specialist to any surgeries you have had that are less than 12 months from the date of your donation (including dental surgeries). A deferral period may or may not be necessary upon evaluation.
  • Insulin Dependant Diabetics-A deferral may be necessary for those with insulin dependent diabetes wishing to donate platelets.
  • Vaccinations/Immunizations-In some cases, a deferral period may be necessary. Please discuss your vaccination history with your collections specialist. Flu shots do NOT have a waiting period. You may donate immediately after receiving the flu shot providing you are feeling well.
  • Cancer:
    • Localized basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma: Acceptable if completely excised and healed.
    • Carcinoma-in-situ ( the stage where cancer cells are still within their site of origin) of the vulva, cervix or breast; papillary thyroid carcinoma: Acceptable after completion of therapy.
    • Leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, melanoma and multiple myeloma: Permanent deferral.
    • Cancers treated by surgery ONLY: Defer one year from date of surgery.
    • Chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment: Defer five years from date of last treatment.
    • Brachytherapy (radiotherapy implanted in the body): Defer five years from removal.
    • NOTE: Tamoxifen and other medications used for breast cancer preventative treatment are acceptable, provided the donor meets all other criteria for cancer.
    • NOTE: Elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level is acceptable.
  • Dental Work: Routine dental procedures such as cleaning and fillings are acceptable. Use of prophylactic antibiotics before a dental procedure is acceptable. Oral surgery, root canal, or tooth extraction (including wisdom teeth), deferral is 72 hours from procedure. Donors requiring post procedure antibiotics are deferred for 24 hours from completion of antibiotic medication.
  • Medications: Most medications are not cause for deferral. Reason for medication determines a donor’s eligibility. Certain medications do require a waiting period from the date of the last prescribed dose. On the day of your donation, please bring a list of any medications you are current medications you are taking.
  • Piercing: A sterile, one-time use needle must have been used. Professionally done piercings are acceptable.
  • Pregnancy: Wait six weeks from date of a normal vaginal delivery, providing the mother did not receive a blood transfusion and has been released from physician's care. Caesarean section (C-section): donor is deferred for six months from date of surgery providing she is healed, required no blood transfusions and is released from her physician's care. Nursing mothers are acceptable to donate.
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases: A donor must wait 12 months from date of completing treatment for syphilis or gonorrhea. If other eligibility requirements are met, chlamydia, venereal warts (HPV), or genital herpes are not a cause for deferral.
  • Skin Disease, Rash or Acne: Acceptable providing the needle site area is free and clear. Certain acne medications require a waiting period after the last dose. Please check with The Donor Center at Roswell Park.
  • Tattoo: A waiting period of 12 months from date of tattoo is required. Deferral date is calculated from date of last color application.
  • Travel: Travel to U.S. destinations is not a cause for deferral. Some travel destinations outside the United States may require waiting periods or may have permanent deferral requirements. If you have traveled outside the U.S. to areas considered high risk for malaria, "mad cow disease," HIV or have lived in Europe for more than six months, please consult one of our screening professionals for travel guidelines.

For further discussion on any of the listed criteria items or any other donation matters, please contact The Donor Center at Roswell Park at 716-845-8275.