Are you a world traveler? Love tattoos? Currently taking medications?
You may have a lot of questions about what it takes to save lives with Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, and we’ve done our best to answer some of the questions we get most here.
You can also stop by one of our Neighborhood Donor Centers or a mobile drive. Our phlebotomists are always ready and willing to help.
Who can donate blood?
Anyone who is age 17 or older may be eligible to donate blood. Individuals who are 16 years old may be eligible to donate with parental consent.
You must bring a valid picture ID prior to donation.
- Donors age 19 and up must weigh at least 110 pounds.
- Donors age 16 to 18 must weigh 122 pounds. *16-year-old donors must have parental consent.
- Potential donors must be in general good health, without any cold or flu symptoms.
How often can I donate blood?
Donating blood requires a waiting period between donations. If you donate:
- Whole blood- you may donate 56 days after your last whole blood donation.
- Double Red Cells- you may donate 112 days after your last double red cell donation. Double red cell donors must meet certain weight, height, and hemoglobin (iron) requirements.
- Platelets- you may donate 7 days after your last platelet donation, with a maximum of 24 donations per year.
- Plasma- you may donate 28 days after your last plasma donation.
What does it mean to be deferred? A donor is deferred when they don’t meet one or more eligibility criteria. It’s how long they must wait before being considered for donation again. For example, when you get a tattoo, you’ll be deferred for a week. That means you can donate blood one week after it was done.
Or you may receive an indefinite deferral, where you aren't able to donate blood unless federal regulations change in the future. We understand this isn’t what you want to hear, but you can still help us save lives. Follow us on social media and emphasize the importance of donating blood and/or volunteer to help us recruit donors.
Note: One of the most common reasons a donor is deferred is because of low iron. Learn more here.
*Not finding what you're looking for? Email Medical Services or fill out this form for further assistance. Your email will receive a response within 24 hours during regular business hours. Or give us a call at (713) 791-6608.