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Types of Donations The Donation Process Blood Types Donor Qualifications Frequently Asked Questions

    Donor Qualifications

Age - Donors must be sixteen years of age or older. Donors that are sixteen years old must have a Dak-Minn Blood Bank Informed Consent and Release For Blood Donors 16 year Form and reading materials reviewed and signed by a parent or legal guardian. No other forms of consent will be accepted.

Weight Requirement - Minimum of 110 pounds. (16 year old donors must weigh at least 120 pounds)

Diet - Donors should eat a light, non-fatty meal within four hours before donating. Avoid dairy products prior to donating if possible.

Sleep - A minimum of six hours of sleep in the twenty-four hour period before donation is recommended.

Illness - Donors with colds, flu and other minor illnesses of this nature will be deferred until symptom free.

Dental Work

  • Regular cleanings or extractions – if no infections are present, there is no wait.
  • Dental surgery - wait until healed.

Medication - The following is the list of medications that may affect your eligibility for blood donations. If you are taking or have ever taken any of these medications, please consult with a blood bank technician to find out the individual deferral periods for applicable medications.

  • Proscar (finasteride)
  • Avodart (dutasteride)
  • Propecia (finasteride)
  • Accutane (Amnesteem, Claravis, Sotret, isotretinoin)
  • Soriatane (acitretin)
  • Tegison (etretinate)
  • Growth Hormone from Human Pituitary Glands
  • Insulin from Cows (Bovine or Beef Insulin)
  • Hepatitis B Immune Globulin (given following exposure)
  • An unlicensed vaccine
  • Rabies vaccine
  • Antibiotics currently taken to treat an infection

Immunizations - Symptom-free donors, no waiting, except:

  • Smallpox – okay to donate after scab has fallen off or at least two weeks after immune reaction
  • Measles (Rubella), Oral polio - two week deferral
  • German measles - four week deferral.

Asthma and Allergies - Known allergy, asthma, or hyposensitization shot for allergy - acceptable if donor is symptom-free the day of donation.

Pregnancy - Six weeks should elapse after a full-term delivery, miscarriage, or abortion. Six-month wait after a C-Section. Current pregnancy precludes persons from donating.


  • Minor surgery such as tonsils, appendix, and wisdom teeth are okay once healing is complete and donor feels well.
  • Major surgery such as back, joint replacement, hysterectomy is cause for a six month hold after surgery.

Jaundice/Hepatitis - Anyone having had viral hepatitis after ten years of age may never give blood. Donors exposed to infections jaundice or hepatitis will be deferred for one year after last contact.

Blood Exposure/Transfusion - Donors having received a transfusion of blood products or any unprotected exposure to blood, body fluids or contaminated needlestick will be deferred for one year.

Heart Problems - A history of heart problems is not necessarily a cause for permanent deferral. Prospective donors who have a functional heart murmur or such (ex. irregular pulse) can usually donate with their physician’s written consent.

Ear Piercing, Body Piercing, Electrolysis, Tattoo, Acupuncture - Cause for a one-year hold unless performed at a licensed facility using sterile, single-use supplies.

Malaria, Babesiosis or Chaga’s Disease - Donors traveling to areas considered to be endemic for malaria may donate one year after returning. Donors who are immigrants, refugees or citizens coming from endemic countries are deferred three years after departure from endemic area. Donors who have ever had malaria shall be deferred for three years after becoming symptom-free. Any donors who have had Babesiosis or Chaga’s disease will be permanently deferred.

Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) - Sexually transmitted diseases are cause for deferral until donor is symptom-free and treatment is completed. Exception:

  • Syphilis and Gonorrhea - a one-year deferral.

AIDS High Risk Behavior - Persons who are HIV Positive, as well as persons having participated in high-risk activities for AIDS, or have experienced AIDS-related symptoms are permanently deferred.

vCJD Exposure - Persons having spent time that adds up to three months or more in the United Kingdom between 1980 and 1996 are permanently deferred from donating due to the risk of developing vCJD from eating beef in the UK. Also donors who spent six months or more associated with a military base in Belgium, the Netherlands, or Germany between 1980 and 1990 or Spain, Portugal, Turkey, or Greece between 1980 and 1996, or donors who have spent time adding up to five years or more in Europe from 1980 to the present are permanently deferred.

Travel - Questions regarding travel outside of the United States and Canada should be referred to the Dak-Minn Blood Bank at (701) 780-5433.

These are a few general guidelines for donor eligibility.
If you have questions regarding your eligibility,
please call the blood bank at (701)780-5433
or email info@dakminnbloodbank.org.