As long as your acupuncture treatment was performed by a qualified practitioner using a single-use needle under sterile conditions, you are eligible to donate. If acupuncture treatment was performed by an unqualified practitioner, you are not eligible to donate for 4 months
In order to donate, you must be at least 17 years old or 16 years old with a parent or guardian's consent. Download the permission slip here
Eligible as long as your allergies are controlled (no headaches or breathing difficulties)
Must be off antibiotics for 3 days
- Antibiotics, for preventative measures (i.e. acne, rosacea, prior to dental work due to MVP or joint replacement) - eligible to donate
- Antibiotics, oral for infection - eligible to donate after medication is complete and you are free from illness for 3 days
Eligible to donate for whole blood and plasma donations. Platelet donors must be off aspirin for 48 hours
Acceptable as long as donors symptoms are under control and the donor has been asymptomatic for 24 hours
- Low - As long as donor is feeling well and their blood pressure is at least 90 systolic and 50 diastolic then they are eligible to donate
- High - Acceptable as long as their blood pressure is below 180 systolic and below 100 diastolic at the time of their donation
- Prescription blood pressure medication does not defer a donor from donating as long as their blood pressure is within range at the time of donation
Anyone that has received a blood transfusion will not be eligible to donate for 4 months from date of transfusion. Although if it’s an autologous donation (your own blood), donor is eligible.
Women who are breastfeeding are eligible to donate. We advise that you increase your fluid intake the day and hours before you donate to stay well-hydrated.
- Eligibility is based on what type of cancer and the treatment history. If a donor had Leukemia, Lymphoma, multiple Myeloma, or Sarcoma then the donor is permanently deferred.
- If donor’s cancer was treated with or without radiation or chemotherapy - except for hematological cancers - donor will have to wait 5 years after deemed cancer free until they are eligible
- Skin Cancer (Must wait 5 years after deemed cancer free unless a pathology report is provided)
- Basal Cell: donor has to have no stitches in order to be eligible. If a donor has stitches, then it must be verified through a pathology report (written or verbal).
- Squamous Cell: has to be verified through a written only pathology report in order to be eligible, which must be approved by Medical Director
- Minor (Cleaning, simple filling, etc) - must be over 1 day since the procedure
- Major (Tooth extraction, root canal, crown prep, etc) - There is a 7 day deferral after procedures. The donor must be off antibiotics for at least 3 days. If the donor has a cadaver bone or tissue then it is 12 months until eligible
Non-insulin dependent: Eligible to donate if controlled and asymptomatic
Insulin Dependent: Controlled and stable (same regimen). At least 1 hour since last insulin injection (except for insulin pump)
- Angina, Arrhythmias (Irregular Heartbeat), Bundle Branch Block, Coronary Artery Disease, Mitral Valve Prolapse/Leaky Valve, Murmurs
- Must be symptom-free for the past 8 weeks
- No activity restriction from physician
- No nitroglycerin for past 8 weeks
- Aortic Stenosis, Cardiomyopathy, Congestive Heart Failure
- Permanent deferral
- Heart Attack
- If over one year ago: symptom-free for past 8 weeks, no activity restriction from physician, and no nitroglycerin for past 8 weeks
- If less than a year ago: donor must provide a physician’s note giving approval OR medical director must give approval
- Pacemaker and Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome
- Medical Director has given approval
- Symptom-free for past 8 weeks
- No activity restriction from physician
- No nitroglycerin for past 8 weeks
- Exposure: if donor has had sexual contact with a person who has hepatitis or live with someone that carries this virus, they must wait 12 months after the last contact
- If donor has a history of hepatitis, they are not eligible to donate
All potential donors will be screened using a series of questions that assess
individual risk of HIV, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. This is in
accordance with FDA final guidance.
The FDA final guidance recommends the following changes to donor eligibility.
Listed below is criteria that requires a 3-month deferral for the donor from the date of last occurrence:
- New or multiple sex partners AND anal sex in the last 3 months.
- Sexual contact with any person in the last 3 months in exchange for money, drugs or other payment.
- Use of needles to inject drugs, steroids or anything not prescribed by your
doctor in the past 3 months.
- Sexual contact with a person who has in the past 3 months used needles to take drugs or other payment for sex, or in the past 3 months used needles to take drugs, steroids or anything not prescribed by their doctor.
- Sexual contact in the last 3 months with anyone who has ever had a
positive test for HIV infection.
- Taking oral medications to prevent HIV infection such as PrEP or PEP in the past 3 months. We do not encourage individuals to stop taking these medications in order to donate blood.
- Donors taking injectable (i.e. Long-acting antiviral PrEP to prevent HIV
infection will be deferred for two years from their most recent injection.
- Sexual contact or lived with a person who has hepatitis in the past 3
DO NOT STOP taking medications prescribed by your doctor in order to donate blood. Donating while taking these drugs could have a negative effect on your health or on the health of the recipient of your blood.
To see a complete and up-to-date list of the medication deferral list, click here.
- Donor - Must be 8 weeks post-donation and released from medical care
- Recipient - Permanent deferral
All piercings must be done using single-use equipment. If a piercing is done not using single use equipment, the deferral time is 4 months.
You have to be 6 weeks postpartum and be released from medical care in order to be eligible to donate. This includes miscarriages and abortions.
- Breastfeeding - Eligible to donate if you are breastfeeding just make sure you increase your fluid intake
You must be released from doctor’s care and stitches must be removed
- Major (e.g. joint replacement, abdominal surgery, back surgery, hysterectomy, generally requiring hospital admission and overnight stay) - Must be 6 weeks since your surgery.*
- Minor (e.g. scope procedures, foot surgery, rhinoplasty) - Must be 3 weeks since surgery*
- Mini (e.g. eye surgery) - Must be 1 week since surgery*
*Consult with RN as needed
This trait is an inherited group of disorders where red blood cells contort into a sickle shape. The sickle cell trait is a gene mutation that can be passed along by a child’s parent. The child does not have the disease, but can transfer the defective gene on to future generations.
- Sickle cell trait: if the donor knows that they carry the trait, we do not encourage donors to donate whole blood. Although, if you carry the trait you can donate platelets or plasma
- Sickle cell disease: donor is not eligible to donate
Eligible if it has been 4 months since the successful completion of treatment. You must provide proof in written form.
You can donate after 7 days as long as you received your tattoo in a state-regulated, licensed parlor using sterile needles and non-reusable ink. It will be a 4 month deferral if these requirements aren’t met
If you have traveled outside of the United States, you will be asked about your travel destinations at the time of donation. If you have traveled to a Malaria area, you will have to wait 3 months until eligible to donate. If you immigrated from a Malaria area, you will not be eligible to donate for 3 years.
Travel questions regarding Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), also known as Mad Cow Disease, have been removed following the FDA's new guidelines in May 2022. The FDA has determined this is no longer a concern for donors who have previously lived in the United Kingdom
and other European countries.
- COVID Vaccinations: Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson - Eligible to donate as long as donor is not experiencing any ill-like symptoms
- Cortisone Allergy shots, Flu/Pneumonia vaccine, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid (injection/oral), and Cholera - Eligible to donate
- Antigen Allergy shot - 24 hours from injection until eligible
- Rubeola (Measles), Yellow Fever, Mumps and Oral Polio - Must wait 2 weeks after receiving any of these shots
- Botox, Hepatitis B, MMR (Measles, mumps, rubella), Zostavax/Shingrix Shingles, Rubella (German Measles), Varicella (Chicken Pox) - Must wait 4 weeks after receiving any of these shots
- Unlicensed vaccines - permanent deferral
- TB Skin test
- For negative reading, donor is eligible to donate
- For positive reading, donor must have a negative chest X-ray, no signs or symptoms of disease, and a completed course of preventative medication treatment (If prescribed)
- Non-disseminated - You are eligible to donate after 2 years of being fully recovered and have completed treatment
- Disseminated, Chronic - since it involves other organs, such as, brain, liver, heart, etc it is a permanent deferral
Blood Donation FAQ
The FDA has finalized a change to the Individual Risk Assessment (IRA) which will set in place a series of changes to the donor questionnaire you fill out before every blood donation. The launch date for these changes is scheduled for mid-December of this year (2023). Based on the available data, the agency believes the implementation of the proposed IRA-based question changes will not compromise the safety or availability of the blood supply. Houchin Community Blood Bank supports the use of rational, science-based deferral (ineligibility) periods that are applied fairly and consistently among all blood donors. All U.S. blood centers are regulated by the FDA and must adhere to their donor eligibility policies. This FDA-led change will open the door for donors once deferred under the past restrictions. Thank you for your understanding and patience as these changes roll out in the coming weeks.
Blood donations from individuals who have received a COVID-19 vaccine approved or authorized for use in the U.S. are safe for transfusion. Similar to other vaccines such as those for measles, mumps or influenza, COVID-19 vaccines are designed to generate an immune response to help protect an individual from illness, but vaccine components themselves do not replicate through blood transfusions or alter a blood recipient’s DNA. In summary, there is no scientific evidence that demonstrates adverse outcomes from the transfusions of blood products collected from vaccinated donors and, therefore, no medical reason to distinguish or separate blood donations from individuals who have received a COVID-19 vaccination.
Houchin Community Blood Bank has been a non-profit since 1951. Like all blood centers in this country, we operate under guidance from the Food and Drug Administration to ensure that all of our blood supply is safe to be transfused into a patient. Houchin does charge hospitals per unit given, which covers the costs of getting the blood from the donor to the patient. These costs include: hiring and training staff to collect, process and deliver blood; supplies and equipment, from blood bags to mobile collection vehicles, testing for infectious diseases, and quality control checks to ensure we meet the highest standards.
Donors must be 17 years of age or older, or 16 with parental consent in order to donate. All donors must weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health.
For additional requirements, please refer to the eligibility requirements that can be found above.
- Registration: Bring your ID and check-in with one of our team members when you arrive. You will be instructed to read our donor educational material and fill out the donor questionnaire. To make your donation appointment a breeze, fill out your donor questionnaire on the day of your scheduled appointment.
- Screening: When your name is called, you will be directed to one of our private screening rooms where a nurse/phlebotomist will ask you confidential health questions and perform a mini-physical (temperature, hemoglobin levels, blood pressure, etc)
- Donation: You’ll then be invited to a donor chair when you pass the health requirements. Once you are seated, the actual donation will take about 8-10 minutes
- Recovery: After your donation, you will be provided with snacks and refreshments to replenish your body while you relax for about 15 minutes.
Time varies depending on each person. A few factors that could affect the donation process time could be health factors, attendance at a blood drive, etc.
- Whole Blood: On average, the entire process takes about 45 minutes. The actual donation process of one pint of whole blood takes approximately 8 to 10 minutes.
- Double Red, Platelets, and Plasma: Plan on being here for about 2 hours for the whole entire donation process. For double red and plasma donations, the actual donation can take up to 30 minutes to an hour. For platelets, the actual donation takes about 1 hour to an hour and a half. Donors have the option to watch movies in the donor chairs to help the time go by faster!
The safety of our donors and our team members are one of our top priorities. We have many protocols in place to ensure that we are not putting anyone at harm:
- Cleaning & Disinfecting: Team members are instructed to disinfect screening rooms, equipment and donor beds between each donor. Frequent cleaning and disinfecting will be conducted in high-touch areas, such as phones, keyboards, touch screens, etc.
- Hand washing: Workers are instructed to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water frequently throughout the day. Sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer dispensers are located where hand washing stations are not readily available.
- Respiratory Etiquette: People are instructed to cover their cough or sneeze and to sanitize their hands immediately afterward
- Meet regular blood donation requirements
- Have tested positive for COVID-19 or for the antibody (Must be able to provide the actual lab results stating that you were positive)
- Must be completely symptom free for 14 consecutive days
Whole Blood: Every 8 weeks (56 days)
Double Red: Every 16 weeks (112 days)
Platelets: Every 7 days or up to 24 times per year
Plasma: Every 4 weeks
- Small, disk-shaped cell fragments that are essential for blood clotting and help control bleeding
- Needed to support cancer therapy, open heart surgery, blood disorders and organ transplants
- Made in bone marrow
- There about 250 million per milliliter of blood and their main function is to help clot blood and heal wounds
- If a woman wants to donate platelets and has had a history of pregnancy to delivery, we require them to take an HLA test, which can be done at any of our donor centers or mobile blood drives.
- The liquid portion of the blood (92% water, plus proteins and salts) that helps with clotting and protects the body against foreign substances
- Used to treat burn victims, patients with certain bleeding disorders and for plasma exchanges
While all blood types are needed, certain blood types provide additional benefits depending on the type of blood product.
- AB+ blood types are encouraged to donate plasma because their plasma can be used by anyone, which is critical in emergency situations.
- AB- blood types are encouraged to donate platelets because their platelets can be used by anyone, which is critical in emergency situations.
- O- blood types are encouraged to donate blood because their blood can be used by anyone, especially in emergency situations.
- O negative & CMV negative blood types are encouraged to donate blood because it is the only type that can be used for babies that need a transfusion. CMV (cytomegalovirus) is a common flu-like virus that up to 85% of U.S. adults have been exposed to by the age of 40. It can cause a potentially life-threatening infection in newborn babies whose immune systems have yet to fully develop. For this reason, babies are given CMV-negative blood from donors who have not been exposed to CMV. If you are O Negative, CMV-, we encourage you to donate blood as often as you can!
CA State Law requires you to remain in the Blood Bank for at least 15 minutes after donating blood. Once you leave our mobile or donor center, we recommend the following:
- Drink extra fluids over the next few hours
- Do not smoke for at least 30 minutes after donating
- Leave the bandage on for 2 hours. If there is still bleeding from the phlebotomy site, raise your arm and apply pressure for several minutes. Reapply bandage if necessary.
- Do not skip meals
- Over the next 24 hours: avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise. Do not drink alcohol.
- Most donors can resume normal work activity although donors with more hazardous occupations should use caution. Airline pilots and high altitude workers should limit work-related activity.
If you become dizzy or fainting occurs, lie down or sit with your head between your knees until symptoms subside. If symptoms persist, or if you have concerns about your donation, contact us here.
We ask personal questions to ensure your safety and the safety of the blood supply. For example, some individuals can be at risk for transferring diseases through their blood donation.
How you feel during the donation process is primarily affected by how recently you ate and your hydration status. This is why we recommend a well-balanced meal 2-3 hours before you donate as well as drinking about 24oz of water the hours leading up to your donation.
For platelet donors and plasma donors, when your red blood cells are being returned to your body, they carry with them a tiny amount of citrate that causes some people to experience a tingling sensation in their lips. This is not harmful, but it is good to know that you may experience this while donating platelets or plasma.
Don’t worry - it will only pinch for a split-second - but the good you do will literally last a lifetime.
While most people report feeling normal after donating, some people may experience lightheadedness. This is why we recommend resting for at least 15 minutes after you donate by having a small snack and 1-2 cups of water before leaving the donor center or mobile blood drive site.
There are people in need of blood to survive. By donating blood, platelets or plasma, you can save the day, and save a life!
- Mobile Drives: We recommend bringing an extra person to watch your kid(s) while you are donating in one of our lifesaver fleets.
- Donor Sites: If you are donating at one of our donation centers, we have a room where kids can play with our Xbox, toys, and more while you are donating. Each of our kids rooms are easily visible, so you can keep your eye on them while you are donating.
Knowing your blood type can prevent the risk of receiving incompatible blood during a time of need.
Not only that, there are times when we have a shortage of a specific blood type, so knowing yours can save someone's life by donating. Remember, when you give, people live!
|Can Give Blood To
|Can Recieve Blood From
|% of Population
|RH Factor Present?
|1 in 3 people have this blood type
|Can help all patients that have A and AB blood types
|Less than 10% of people are type B+
|Only 2 out of a hundred are this type
|The universal plasma donor
|O-, A-, B-, AB-
|The universal plasma & platelet donor
|O+, A+, B+, AB+
|O+ is the most common blood type
|O- is the universal blood donor
A+/-, B+/-: Blood components are helpful to trauma, burn, & cancer patients
AB+/-: Blood components are helpful to cancer & bleeding disorder patients
O+/-: Blood components are helpful to burn & trauma victims