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Donor Requirements

  • Donor Deferrals

Donor deferrals

Potential donors may be temporarily or permanently ineligible for donation due to certain medical conditions, medications, travel, or high-risk behavior. Some conditions resulting in deferral are listed below.

Medical conditions

  • Cancer
  • AIDS
  • Auto-immune disease
  • Chagas
  • Hepatitis
  • Kidney, liver, or lung disease
  • Malaria
  • Tuberculosis

Contact the Blood Center for more information regarding these deferrals.

Tattoo/non-professional body piercing

There is a one-year deferral from date of tattoo or non-professional body piercing.


  • Proscar© (finasteride) − usually given for prostate gland enlargement 
  • Avodart© or Jalyn© (dutasteride) − usually given for prostate enlargement
  • Propecia© (finasteride) − usually given for baldness 
  • Accutane© Absorica Amnesteem, Claravis, Myorisan, Sotret, Zenatane (isotretinoin) − usually given for severe acne
  • Soriatane© (acitretin) – usually given for severe psoriasis
  • Tegison© (etretinate) – usually given for severe psoriasis
  • Growth Hormone from Human Pituitary Glands − used usually for children with delayed or impaired growth
  • Insulin from Cows (Bovine, or Beef, Insulin) − used to treat diabetes 
  • Hepatitis B Immune Globulin –given following an exposure to hepatitis B

    NOTE: This is different from the hepatitis B vaccine which is a series of 3 injections given over a 6 month period to prevent future infection from exposures to hepatitis B.

  • Plavix (clopidogrel) and Ticlid (ticlopidine) – inhibits platelet function; used to reduce the chance for heart attack and stroke
  • Feldene – given for mild to moderate arthritis pain 
  • Experimental medication or unlicensed (experimental) vaccine – usually associated with a research protocol 

Why medications affect you as a blood donor

If you have taken or are taking Proscar, Avodart, Jalyn, Propecia, Accutane, Absorica Amnesteem, Claravis, Myorisan, Soret, Zenatane, Soriatane, or Tegison, these medications can cause birth defects. Your donated blood could contain high enough levels to damage the unborn baby if transfused to a pregnant woman. Once the medication has been cleared from your blood, you may donate again. Following the last dose, the deferral period is one month for Proscar, Propecia, Accutane, Absorica Amnesteem, Claravis, Myorisan, Sotret, and Zenatane, six months for Avodart and Jalyn, and three years for Soriatane. Tegison is a permanent deferral.

Growth hormone from human pituitary glands was prescribed for children with delayed or impaired growth. The hormone was obtained from human pituitary glands, which are found in the brain. Some people who took this hormone developed a rare nervous system condition called Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD, for short). The deferral is permanent.

Insulin from cows (bovine, or beef, insulin) is an injected material used to treat diabetes. If this insulin was imported into the US from countries in which “Mad Cow Disease” has been found, it could contain material from infected cattle. There is concern that "Mad Cow Disease" is transmitted by transfusion. The deferral is indefinite.

Hepatitis B Immune Globulin (HBIG) is an injected material used to prevent infection following an exposure to hepatitis B. HBIG does not prevent hepatitis B infection in every case, therefore persons who have received HBIG must wait 12 months to donate blood to be sure they were not infected since hepatitis B can be transmitted through transfusion to a patient.

Feldene is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that can affect platelet function. A donor taking Feldene will not be able to donate platelets for 2 days; however, its use will not affect whole blood donations.

Plavix and Ticlid are medications that can decrease the chance of a heart attack or stroke in individuals at risk for these conditions. Since these medications can affect platelets, anyone taking Plavix or Ticlid will not be able to donate platelets for 14 days after the last dose. Use of either medication will not prohibit whole blood donations.

Experimental medication or unlicensed (experimental) vaccine is usually associated with a research protocol and the effect on blood donation is unknown. Deferral is one year unless otherwise indicated by Medical Director.


One-year deferral

Travel to certain countries may require a one year blood donation deferral from the date of return to the US.

Travel documentation form

  • Areas at high risk for malaria. Check the CDC web site, or call the Blood Center for more information.
  • Iraq, due to the potential of contracting leishmaniasis.

Indefinite deferral

You are indefinitely deferred from blood donation if from 1980 to the present time you have traveled or lived in one or more of the listed countries for time that adds up to five or more years. You may be at risk of developing nvCJD, (new variant Creutzfeld-Jacob disease, "Mad Cow" disease) from eating beef in Europe. 

  • Alabania
  • Austria
  • Azores (Portugal)
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Canary Is. (Spain)
  • Ceuta (Spain)
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Guadeloupe (France)
  • Hungary
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Italy
  • Kosovo
  • Lichtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Martinique (France)
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Serbia
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • Yugoslavia

Contact us:

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

(831) 625-4814
(831) 658-3002 Fax

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