Donor Eligibility

Marsh Regional Blood Center does have a few eligibility requirements that you must meet to qualify for blood donation. But don’t worry! Even those who don’t currently qualify can still assist us in our goal of saving lives in our region.

Can I donate blood?

To donate blood with Marsh, you must:

  • Be at least 17 years old
  • Weigh at least 110 pounds or more
  • Eat a well-balanced meal within four to six hours of your donation
  • Be in generally good health on the day that you donate

If you currently have a cold, sore throat, fever, flu, fever blisters or are taking antibiotics, you won’t be able to donate. If you’ve recently recovered from COVID-19, you may be eligible to donate convalescent plasma.

If you’re 17 and you’d like to donate, you will need a parent or guardian’s permission to give blood.

Find answers to the most common blood donation questions we hear, and learn what the benefits of giving blood are.

Can I donate blood if I’m 16 years old?

Due to the reactions to giving blood that some younger donors can have, Marsh’s procedures currently only allow those who are at least 17 years old to donate blood.

Can I donate blood if I’m a high school student?

Absolutely! About one-third of our region’s blood supply comes from high school students. Marsh Regional Blood Center works with high schools all across the Highlands community.

We also offer incentives – like honors and scholarships – for high school students who give blood.

Can I donate blood if I’m LGBTQ+?

We’re proud to welcome donors from the LGBTQ+ community. Marsh Regional Blood Center does not believe that any donor should be discriminated against based upon sexual orientation or gender identity. We’re working hard to keep this at the forefront of our decisions moving forward.

When should I NOT donate blood?

You shouldn’t give blood if any of these statements apply to you:

  • I’m currently taking an antibiotic for an infection or have taken an antibiotic in the past seven days.
  • I haven’t eaten a well-balanced and substantial meal within four to six hours of my donation.
  • I have a history of hepatitis, heart disease or most cancers within the last five years.
  • I’ve had a blood transfusion or accidental needle stick within the past 12 months.
  • I’ve gotten a tattoo less than three months ago.
  • I’ve had major surgery in the past six months or pregnancy within the past six weeks.
  • I’ve tested positive for HIV.
  • I’ve had sex with someone who tested positive for HIV in the past 12 months.
  • I’ve used illegal IV drugs or had sex with someone who has in the past 12 months.
  • I’ve received or given money, drugs or any other payment for sex.
  • I’m a man who had sexual contact with another man in the past three months.
  • I’m a woman who had sexual contact with a man who had sexual contact with another man in the past three months.

I’m not eligible – how can I help?

Even those that aren’t currently eligible to donate blood can still help save local lives! You can host a blood drive with your organization, donate to our scholarship program or simply encourage others in your life to give blood.

We’re always working to better our community by working together. You can always help us met this goal, regardless of eligibility.