To ensure the safety of blood donation for both donors and recipients, the Red Cross says all volunteer blood donors must be evaluated to determine their eligibility to give blood.
Be healthy -- meaning you feel well and can perform normal activities. If you have a chronic condition such as diabetes, healthy also means that you are being treated and the condition is under control.
Be at least 17 years old in most states, or 16 years old with parental consent if allowed by state law.
Weigh at least 110 lbs. Additional weight requirements apply for donors 18 years old and younger and all high school donors.
Other aspects of each potential donor's health history are discussed as part of the donation process before any blood is collected. Each donor receives a brief examination during which temperature, pulse, blood pressure and hemoglobin (or hematocrit) are measured.
Making donations for your own use during surgery (autologous blood donation) is considered a medical procedure that requires a written prescription and the rules for eligibility are less strict than for regular volunteer donations.
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