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Eligibility to Donate Blood and Platelets

Man donating blood with two nurses near bedside

Anyone in good health who is at least 18 and weighs 110 pounds or more may donate blood and/or platelets to patients at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

At our Blood Donor Center, we screen donors for health conditions, medications, and recent travel to see if they are eligible to donate. The screening process includes a physical examination and a review of the potential donor’s medical history.

The screening may find reasons why some potential donors cannot donate. They will receive a deferral. Some deferrals are temporary. Others are permanent. Some common reasons for eligibility or deferral are listed here:

Medical conditions

Condition Eligibility
AIDS - High-risk individuals and their partners Permanent deferral
Cold or flu 48-hour deferral after symptoms are gone
Hepatitis or jaundice after age 11 Permanent deferral
Pregnant or after delivery, miscarriage, or abortion 6-week deferral
Surgery (without transfusion) 6-week deferral


Condition Eligibility
Antibiotics Contact the Blood Donor Center for eligibility criteria
Aspirin 48-hour deferral (platelets only)
All other medications Contact the Blood Donor Center for eligibility criteria

Note: You can still donate blood if you are taking some common, over-the-counter medications that are not prescribed by a doctor, such as allergy medications, blood pressure medications, vitamins, diet pills, sleeping pills, ibuprofen, and Tylenol®.  Contact the Blood Donor Center if you are unsure about anything you are taking.


Procedure Eligibility
Ear piercing - performed by medical staff Eligible to donate
Ear piercing - unapproved location 3-month deferral
Tattoo No deferral if done at a licensed facility, 3-month deferral if done at an unlicensed facility
Dental work - invasive 72-hour deferral
Teeth cleaning 24-hour deferral


Area Eligibility
Malaria risk areas 1-year deferral


Vaccination Eligibility
Hepatitis B vaccine (for prophylaxis only) 2-week deferral
Hepatitis B vaccine (for exposure) 1-year deferral
Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) 4-week deferral
T-Dap Eligible same day
All other vaccinations Contact the Blood Donor Center for eligibility criteria

Note: You can donate blood on the same day that you get a flu shot (vaccination) or a Gardasil (HPV) vaccination.

Contact the Blood Donor Center

Blood Donor Center
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
262 Danny Thomas Place
Memphis, TN 38105-3678


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