Donating with Shepeard
Learn More About Donating Blood in Your Area
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 hemoglobin (iron) range varies based on sex. For women, the acceptable range is 12.5 - 18. For men, it is 13 - 18. If your hemoglobin is in the acceptable range when we check it, you are okay 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?
Shepeard Community Blood Center is now prepared to accept donations from military members who were previously deferred. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently finalized guidance regarding travel or time spent in certain European countries or on military bases in Europe.
Many previously deferred military members will be able to donate blood, platelets, and plasma under the new guidelines. For example, those who were deferred for time spent in Germany, Italy, and Spain will now be able to donate. This includes active and retired military personnel and their dependents, as well as civilians who worked on military bases.
Some individuals will still be deferred and unable to donate due to their previous travel, and these include:
- Those who have lived/spent time in the United Kingdom, The Isle of Man, The Channel Islands, Gibraltar, or the Falkland Islands for a total of 3 months or more between 1980 and 1996.
- Those who lived/spent time in Ireland or France for a total of 5 years between 1980 and 2001.
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.
Jane Flanders, a recipient of two units of blood during her surgery, recommends "Those of you who can, to go to a blood center, whether it be Shepeard, GRU or any other center and give that gift of life. I will be forever grateful to those who took the time to donate so that I could recover from my surgery and continue my journey."
Jane Flanders - Blood Donor & Recipient