At Heartland Blood Centers,
safety is at the heart of everything we do.

To ensure the safest blood supply possible, blood donors must meet certain eligibility guidelines, which are determined by the American Association of Blood Banks and the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Many of our potential donors have questions about whether they’re eligible to donate. We encourage you to contact us to learn more about eligibility. In many cases, people discover that medical conditions and other factors do not disqualify them from becoming a donor. Our staff can help determine whether it’s safe for you to donate and answer other questions you may have.

What are the general
eligibility requirements?

  • A donor must be in good health and feel well.
  • A donor must provide valid photo identification.
  • A donor must be at least 17 years old. Sixteen-year-olds are eligible to donate with written approval from a parent or guardian.
  • A donor must weigh at least 110 pounds.

Download 16-Year-Old Permission Form:

What factors might disqualify
or defer my donation?

  • Fever, persistent cough, sore throat or chest congestion may temporarily disqualify a donor.
  • Donations from individuals taking certain medications may be deferred because of an underlying medical condition.
  • Travel to certain parts of the world may have exposed potential donors to specific diseases, which can be cause for deferral.

Wondering whether you can donate if you have a particular condition?

Here is a list of questions we are frequently asked about donating blood at a Heartland Blood Centers or drive.

If you have a question we have not addressed, feel free to call us at

What if I have high blood pressure?
If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, but have taken steps to get your blood pressure under control, you may still be able to donate blood. This is true even if you are currently taking many common medications to regulate blood pressure.
I’m diabetic. Can I still donate?
If your diabetes is under control, chances are that you are eligible to donate blood. Be sure to talk with your doctor about your plan to donate blood.
Can I donate while I’m pregnant?
Women cannot donate blood during pregnancy. They become eligible donors six weeks after giving birth. Women who have been pregnant may be asked questions about prior pregnancies. These questions are designed to protect recipients of donated blood that may be impacted by antibodies that developed during prior pregnancies.
Do my tattoos or piercings disqualify me?
Local laws regulating blood donations from those with tattoos or piercings have changed. If you received your tattoo from a licensed tattoo facility in Illinois or Indiana, you are no longer subject to a waiting period. If your piercing was performed using sterile, single-use equipment, there is no waiting period.
Can I donate if I’m taking prescription medications?
Patients using certain prescription medications cannot donate blood. However, many other medications do not disqualify you.
What if I have traveled or lived abroad?
Those who have traveled to certain countries and may have been exposed to specific diseases as a result may face a one-year waiting period. Those who have lived in certain European countries during specific periods of time may be permanently ineligible to donate.
What other conditions should I consider?
There are many other factors that can impact your eligibility to donate blood. People who have suffered a stroke or have had heart disease may be deferred or restricted. People who are at risk for HIV infection or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease may be impacted. Please consult with our Heartland Blood Centers staff if you have questions about your eligibility.

Who cannot make a blood donation?

Individuals with certain medical conditions may not be eligible to donate blood. These conditions include chronic liver, lung or heart disease, certain blood diseases, some cancers, epilepsy, and hepatitis. Deferral periods vary based on medical diagnosis. Feel free to call for a consultation.