Blood Donation Guidelines

To give blood, donors must:

  • be at least 17 years of age
  • weigh at least 110 pounds
  • be in good health 
  • have proof of identification

Blood can be donated every eight weeks. Platelets can be donated every two weeks. Double red-cell donations can be made every 16 weeks. 

Potential donors may be temporarily or permanently ineligible to donate because of issues related to their medical history or travel to some countries (see below). 

If you are unsure of your eligibility, please call the Blood Donor Center at 615-LIFE (615-5433).

FDA Restrictions Based on International Travel

Cape Fear Valley Blood Donor Center is following the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) latest guidelines to reduce the transmission risk of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), commonly referred to as "mad cow" disease. These guidelines make some persons ineligible to donate blood based on certain overseas travel.

The FDA states that those who are ineligible have been "deferred," meaning they may be eligible at a later date. It is not known, whether advances in epidemiology may enable them to donate in the future.

The FDA indicates that transmission of CJD by human blood has not been shown to occur. However, since it is a fairly new disease, the FDA has asked all blood banks to adhere to the following donor guidelines:

  • Persons who have traveled to or resided in the United Kingdom for more than three months, between 1980 and 1996 are not eligible to donate;
  • Persons who were a member of the U.S. military, a civilian military employee or military dependent, stationed for six months or more from 1980-1990 in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, or six months or more from 1980-1996 in Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Italy, and Greece are not eligible to donate.
  • Persons who have lived in one of 30 European countries for periods totaling five years or more are not eligible to donate.

CJD is a rare, but invariably fatal, degenerative disease of the central nervous system, associated with a poorly-understood transmissible agent. A small number of people in the United Kingdom have been diagnosed with the disease. Many scientists believe that these people contracted CJD after eating beef obtained from cattle infected with another disease, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

For more information, please call the Blood Donor Center at 615-LIFE (615-5433).

The Blood Donor Center is open for donations Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on the third Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.