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Frequently Asked Questions about Blood Donation

  • I’m currently taking an antibiotic. Will I still be able to donate? 
    • If you are taking an antibiotic for an infection, wait until the last dose and you are symptom free before attempting to donate.
  • I’m anemic. Can I donate?
    • The acceptable hematocrit range varies based on sex.  For women, the acceptable range is 38.0 – 54.0.  For men, it is 39.0 – 54.0. Once we take your hematocrit, if you are within this range, you are ok to donate, regardless of if you are anemic or not. Any reading outside of this range will defer you from donating that day.
  • I just had a flu shot. Will I still be able to donate?
    • There is no deferral for a flu shot, as long as you are symptom free.
  • I’m currently taking a medication. Will I still be able to donate?
    • Most medications are acceptable for donation.
    • For questions, please call one of our donor centers and ask to speak with a phlebotomist who will review the Medication Deferral List and your specific information confidentially with you.
    • There have been many changes and updates recently.
  • I'm diabetic. Can I still donate?
    • No problem! As long as your Diabetes is under control (with or without medication) we’d love to have you!
  • I've got high blood pressure? Can I still donate?
    • No problem! As long as your blood pressure is under control (with or without medication) and within range, we’d love to have you. The acceptable range is 90/50 – 180/90.
  • I was stationed in the military and spent time overseas. Can I still donate?
    • If any of the following apply to you, you can NOT donate:
      • If you have spent 3 months during 1980-1996 in the UK.
      • If you have spent 5 years from 1980-Present in Europe.
      • If you have spent 6 months from 1980-1990 on a military base in Belgium, the Netherlands, or Germany.
      • If you have spent 6 months from 1980-1996 on a military base in Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Italy, or Greece.
  • I got a tattoo/piercing recently. Can I still donate?
    • Tattoos and piercings by an unlicensed facility will defer you. Georgia is an unlicensed state, whereas South Carolina is licensed.  Piercings done at Wal-Mart or Claire’s are acceptable. 
  • I travelled to (Insert Country). Can I still give?
    • There are a number of possible travel restrictions based on risks for malaria and other diseases. It is important that you bring the specific location where you went and the time frame you went there, so we can determine if you are eligible to donate.
  • How long must I wait after giving birth, to donate blood?
    • New mothers must wait at least 6 weeks after giving birth to give blood. 

If you have any questions, in regards to donating, you may contact our Director of Donor Services, Susan Dewes, at 706.737.4551.


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