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If You're Not Eligible to Give Blood

If you were deferred, you can still make a difference. Many deferrals are temporary, and you may be able to plan your next donation soon. For extended or indefinite deferrals, you can support the Red Cross mission in other ways.

Common Reasons for Deferrals


Low Hemoglobin / Hematocrit

The hemoglobin test measures the amount of a protein called hemoglobin that carries oxygen in your red blood cells.

We check your hemoglobin at every donation and it must be above the minimum value required for blood donation which is 12.5g/dL.

Learn more about hemoglobin and iron if you were deferred from giving blood.

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Cold, flu or other illness symptoms

For the safety of both donors and recipients, donors that do not feel well on the day of donation should not donate blood. Donors may return to donate 24 hours after all symptoms have cleared.

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What to Do

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Temporary deferrals

Some eligibility requirements, such as those related to some travel destinations or medications, may cause a temporary deferral for a period, such as three months or a year.

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What to Do

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Permanent deferrals

Eligibility criteria, such as certain medical conditions, may prevent you from being able to donate blood in general.

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What to Do

  • Spread the word that the need for blood is constant.
  • In the meantime, you can still support the blood donation cause:

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