Meeting the requirements to donate blood

Published: Feb. 8, 2021 at 7:12 PM EST
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Being a blood donor can save a life, but are you eligible to give the gift of life? In this week’s Medical Monday, Kathy McCarty has more on what’s required to make a donation.

Like driving a car or buying alcohol, Maine has an age requirement when it comes to donating blood.

“In the state of Maine, as long as you’re over - you’re 17 years of age and older, and you weigh at least a hundred and ten pounds, otherwise there’s no age limitation above 17 years of age. And anyone can donate blood, as long as they’re in good health,” says Dr. Roger Pelli, Chief Medical Information Officer for Northern Light A.R. Gould Hospital.

One’s present health is also a factor.

Dr. Pelli says, “If you had the flu - you were sick with the flu, you shouldn’t give blood. If you were anemic for whatever reason, obviously your body needs to build that blood volume back for your own health, and so giving blood in a state where your own body needs blood, would not be a healthy thing to do.”

Certain illnesses may limit a person’s ability to donate blood.

“Anyone who has had a recent hepatitis A infection - which a person will get over - but because of that they ask people to wait even upwards of a year. People who have had tattoos and body piercings, they ask people to wait at least four months after that experience to think about giving blood, because there are ways of a person getting these - certain illnesses like hepatitis from those procedures,” says Dr. Pelli.

For more information on eligibility to donate blood, visit our website. Kathy McCarty, NewsSource 8

For more information on requirements and conditions to donate blood, visit the Red Cross website:

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