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Donor requirements

To be a donor, you must:

  • Be healthy: No colds, flu, infections or illnesses. Remember, the person receiving your blood is already in a compromised condition.
  • Provide your Social Security number or other legal ID number and photo identification such as a driver's license, passport, or state identification.
  • Not be at risk for AIDS/HIV or hepatitis, or participate in a high-risk activity that may cause you to become infected with these diseases. Lab testing will not identify those in early stages of infection.
  • Be at least 16 years old. If you are 16 you must weigh at least 120 pounds and have written parental consent. Donors 17 and older do not need parental consent and must weigh at least 110 pounds. There is no upper age limit as long as you are in good health.
  • You must eat and drink fluids four hours before donation.

See the list of donor deferrals for conditions that may prohibit donating blood.

Donor do's, don'ts, and myths

Do

  • Be in good health - no cold or flu symptoms, sore throat, or high-risk behaviors
  • Weigh at least 110 pounds
  • Drink plenty of fluids and eat at least four hours before donation
  • Have a photo ID and know your Social Security or other legal ID number
  • Make a list of all countries traveled, (except the United States and Canada) in the last three years. Indicate month and year of return
  • Make a list of vaccines received in the last 8 weeks
  • Make a current list of medications 

Don't

  • Donate if you are at high risk for HIV or hepatitis
  • Donate on an empty stomach; eat well and drink fluids before donation
  • Exercise heavily after donation
  • Donate just for an AIDS/HIV test
  • Have an infection requiring antibiotics
  • Have symptoms of illness, including cold or flu
  • Donate if you have had a tattoo and/or self-piercing within the last year

Myths

"I am too old to donate."
There is no upper age limit as long as you are healthy.

"I take medications so I can't donate."
Very few medications will prohibit a person from donating. For example, blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol medications are all OK.

"My blood type is common so it's not in need as much as the rarer types."
False. O positive and A positive are the two most common blood types. We constantly need these types.

"It's painful to donate."
Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula's Blood Center offers lidocaine to numb a small area so the needle insertion is not felt. It makes for a very comfortable blood donation experience.

"I might contract a disease if I donate blood."
You can't contract diseases, such as HIV or hepatitis, by donating blood. Strict sterile procedures are mandated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and practiced by the Blood Center.

"I may not feel well after I donate."
Most donors feel well and healthy after donating. Donors may resume normal activities after donating but should avoid strenuous activities for 24 hours.

"I can't donate because I have high blood pressure, (or diabetes or high cholesterol....)"
People can donate with conditions such as these as long as they are controlled.

"If I donate blood, will I get a 'credit' in case I should ever need blood?"
No, there is no quid pro quo for blood donations. All blood donations are completely voluntary, without any kind of reimbursement or credit. The more people who donate, the more likely blood will be available if you need it.

 

Contact us:

To make an appointment to donate blood, please e-mail or call us.

(831) 625-4814
(831) 658-3002 Fax
bloodcenter@chomp.org

Hartnell Professional Center
576 Hartnell St., Suite 100
Monterey, CA 93940
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