How Old do You Have to be to Donate?

Tina Smith October 15, 2019

How old do you have to be to donate blood?

In the United States, you can donate blood starting at the age of 16, provided you have your parents’ permission. At age 17, you can donate without a parents’ permission. This means that if you are old enough to drive, you are old enough to donate blood. You’ll need to show proof of age when you register to donate so bring a driver’s license or other photo ID with you. 

Not only can you donate, but you can make a difference in someone’s life when you do

Many people aren’t aware of the critical role that young donors play in making sure that hospitals across the United States have enough blood on hand to treat patients. About 20% of the blood donated in the US comes from high school and college age donors. You can save a life when you donate blood!

There are other factors that the blood center will take into account before you’re able to donate

To donate, you need to be in good health and weigh at least 110 pounds. This is because the amount of blood you have depends on your overall height and weight. A full donation is a pint of blood and those under 110 pounds may not be able to give that volume safely. You also shouldn’t donate if you feel like you’re running a fever or coming down with cold. You can review all the requirements on our Can I Donate page. You’ll also be tested to see if your iron levels are high enough. Low iron can be a particular problem for young women, you can find out about ways to increase your iron on our Low Iron page. 

Other ways you can help

Even if you can’t donate, you may be able to help organize a blood drive at your school or local community organization. Learn how easy it is by checking out our Host a Blood Drive page. 
We look forward to seeing you!

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Tina Smith

With a career in communications spanning two decades, Tina Smith is OneBlood’s content manager, taking care of the company’s website and intranet. She also help write the postcards and emails that donors may find in the mailboxes. Helping save lives through her work brings a sense of satisfaction that few jobs can offer.

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