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 for more detailed donation criteria.

For All Donations

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

*Please be sure to eat a meal within two hours of donating.

Important Donation Alert

Please read the following information regarding updated blood and platelet donation guidelines for the Zika virus.

If you have traveled to Mexico, the Caribbean, and or Central or South America in the last 28 days, we are asking you NOT to donate until you have been back in the United States for 28 days.

The reasons we have instituted this temporary deferral are:

  • Zika virus infection is spreading rapidly in the Western Hemisphere, outside the United States and Canada.
  • Zika virus infection is mild in most people, but there is concern that Zika is causing serious brain injury to infants whose mothers have been infected during pregnancy and an increase in cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome, a temporary but serious disorder causing paralysis.
  • Zika virus can be present in the blood of an infected person who has no symptoms of illness.
  • There is concern that Zika virus can be transmitted by blood.

You may direct questions and concerns to the Donor Center staff at 716-845-8275.


Additional Criteria

  • Antibiotics: A donor with an infection is not eligible to donate. Reason for antibiotic use must be assessed.
  • 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.
  • Blood Pressure: Acceptable limits are: Systolic (first number) 180 or below and diastolic (second number) 100 or below at time of donation. Most blood pressure medications are acceptable.
  • Cancer:
    • Localized basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma: Acceptable if completely excised and healed.
    • Carcinoma-in-situ (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 prior to 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. Please contact The Donor Center at Roswell Park for further evaluation.
  • 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.