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Blood Donor Eligibility


Many people are eligible to donate. In order for us to determine if donating blood products is safe for you and for patients receiving blood, we conduct a simple health exam that includes a health history interview and taking your blood pressure, pulse, temperature and hematocrit reading.

Generally, anyone who is in good health, is at least 17 years of age or older and weighs at least 110 lbs (130 lbs if 17) may donate blood every eight weeks.

Below are some conditions that will defer you from donating today:

You are indefinitely deferred if the following applies to you:

  • History of hepatitis after age 11 years, or positive test for hepatitis
  • History of AIDS or a positive test for AIDS
  • History of leukemia, lymphoma or other blood cancer
  • History of hemophilia
  • History of Chagas disease, babesiosis, or Creutzfeldt-Jakob (CJD) disease
  • An autoimmune condition
  • History of melanoma
  • History of living or travel in the United Kingdom that adds up to 3 months or more between the years 1980 to 1996
  • History of European travel that adds up to 5 years or more from 1980 to the present.
  • History of being on a military base in Europe between the years 1980 and 1996 for 6 months or more
You may or may not be able to donate for the following reasons:
  • Pregnancy: Can donate 6 weeks after delivery.
  • Blood transfusion or bone or skin graft: Can donate one year after the event.
  • Tattoo, body piercings, including ear piercing: Can donate if done in a state regulated entity with single use sterile needles and one time ink use. Otherwise, there is a 12-month deferral period.
  • Travel to malaria areas ( most of Africa, some areas of Mexico, Costa Rica, Central and South America, some areas of the middle east, including most of India- call us for details): Can donate one year after return.
  • History of malaria: Can donate 3 years after treatment is over and you are considered cured.
  • History of most solid organ cancers: Can donate 5 years after considered cancer free.
  • Squamous cell and basal cell cancer: Can donate after removal and healed and considered cancer free.
  • Antibiotics: If taking for an infection, can donate after completing the medication and infection is cleared.
  • Diabetes: Can donate if under control.
  • High blood pressure: Can donate if under control and below our thresholds of 180mmHg systolic and 100mmHg diastolic at time of donation.
  • Vaccinations: Most can donate the next day. Exceptions are: rubella and varicella must wait 4 weeks, measles and mumps must wait 2 weeks and hepatitis must wait one week.
  • Surgery: Can donate after healed and released from your doctor’s care, unless you have received blood products (then must wait one year).
  • Medications: Most are OK to donate. Exceptions are Proscar, Avodart,Jalyn, Propecia, Accutane, Absorica, Soriatane, Tegison, some growth hormones (call us for details). Medications for blood pressure, cholesterol control, aches and pains, allergies, sleep or anxiety are OK to donate.


  • Monday & Friday
    7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

  • Tuesday & Thursday
    8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Wednesday
    9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • First Saturday of the Month*
    8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
    (*Except Holiday weekends: the donor room will open the second Saturday of the month)

  • The Donor Room is closed Sundays and holidays.

  • Southcoast Health Van dates & locations
Appointments are requested, but not necessary, and can be made by calling 508-973-5320

Location: 101 Page Street, New Bedford, MA 02740



The Southcoast Blood Bank is located just off the main lobby at St. Luke's Hospital.

When you donate blood at St. Luke's Hospital it stays local, saving the lives of individuals right here in the South Coast region.

All of the blood is used at our three hospitals sites: Charlton Memorial in Fall River, St. Luke's in New Bedford and Tobey in Wareham.

Typically, Southcoast uses nearly 1,200 pints of blood a month.

The whole blood donation process - from the interview through the actual donating - usually takes about 30 minutes.




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