About Blood

Frequently Asked Questions

How often can I donate blood?

You can donate blood up to six times a year but we ask for individuals to at least consider giving blood three times annually to help us maintain an adequate supply of blood in and across Northeast Ohio.

Can I donate blood if I am taking prescription medication?

For most medications, the quick answer is yes. It is advisable, however, to call our LifeShare Donor Care Manager Shawn Hassman at (440) 322-5700 ext. 2872 or e-mail shassman@lifeshare.cc with any questions regarding eligibility. 

I have diabetes. Can I still donate?

You may donate if your diabetes is controlled by diet, prescription medication or insulin. Donors who have received bovine (beef) insulin that was manufactured since 1980 from cattle in the United Kingdom, however, are deferred indefinitely.

Can I donate blood if I'm pregnant?

No. You cannot donate blood if you are pregnant or have been pregnant in the past 6 weeks.

I got a tattoo. Can I still give blood?

It depends on where and when you got the tattoo. For the most current information on tattoo restrictions, call our blood center at (440) 322-5700.

Can I still donate if I had surgery?

Yes. You can still donate if you are completely healed and have been released from the care of your physician as long as the underlying condition would not cause you to be deferred. If you underwent a transfusion, you are required to wait 12 months before you give unless the blood you received in an autologous transfusion was your own. Contact our blood center for more information. 

Am I still eligible to donate if I've traveled out of the country?

Current guidelines set forth by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) require blood centers to defer all individuals who have traveled to endemic countries within the last year. After one year, the individual or individuals wishing to give blood may donate provided that they have been cleared of any symptoms of illness. While this may be frustrating to some prospective donors or individuals who have served overseas, it's important to keep in mind that these restrictions are set forth to protect you and others. 

If you have recently traveled outside of the country, please print and fill out our LifeShare Donor Travel History Card to bring with you to your next donation. 

I am not eligible to donate but still want to support the cause. What can I do?

You can always support our mission by volunteering with LifeShare and encouraging others to donate or host a blood drive in their community or workplace.


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