Blood Donors Are Saving Lives

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood, and if one or more severely injured patients need multiple transfusions, a blood bank’s supply may have to limit other routine cases.

The good news is that many of us can help. “Most healthy adults are able to donate blood,” said Dr. Preethi Menon, a transfusion medicine doctor with University Health. “One donation of whole blood can help save up to three lives." 

Updated Blood Donor Guidelines

The Food and Drug Administration eliminated the policy that deferred men who have sex with men from donating in May 2023. Review the blood donor screening sheet for details.

The FDA reduced the waiting period to three months for donors who have traveled to countries where malaria is prevalent.

Donors who recently got tattoos or piercings are only deferred for two weeks instead of three months if:

  • They got tattoos or piercings at a state-licensed business
  • The business used sterile one-time equipment
  • The site has fully healed

Medical Conditions and Blood Donation

Some medical conditions and medications may prevent or delay donation, but most do not.

“There are a lot of myths around how certain medications or medical conditions may prevent someone from being able to donate," Menon said.

The blood donor screening sheet on the University Health website lists guidelines and exceptions while stressing how easy and important it is to become a donor. 

And you can feel good about what you are doing. By sitting quietly on a couch for 30 minutes and giving blood, you may be saving the life of someone who is unexpectedly injured and is depending on a transfusion to survive. 

Donate Blood at University Health

Schedule an appointment to give blood at University Health.

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