Health Advice



The Red Cross says there's a national blood shortage. Here's how to donate

Madalyn Amato, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Health & Fitness

— Weigh at least 110 pounds

— Be 17 years old (or 16 with custodial consent)

— If you are a student or a minor, be at least 5 feet tall if you're male or 5 feet 6 inches tall if you're female.

Because blood volume is determined by height and weight, those who don't meet these requirements may not be able to deal with the loss of blood that comes with the collection. There is no upper weight limit as long as the donation space can accommodate you.

There are many reasons why you may not be able to donate blood. Some include:

— You have a fever, are feeling ill or are taking antibiotics at the time of donation

— Your medication requires a waiting period after your last dose before donating

— You were just vaccinated for smallpox; mumps, measles and rubella; or hepatitis


— You've tested positive for COVID in the past 14 days or have COVID symptoms

— You've recently traveled outside of the U.S. or Canada

— You have medical conditions, such as hemophilia, certain types of cancer, HIV/AIDS or any other active infections

— You are a man who's had sex with another man within the past three months

— You are pregnant

If you are unable to donate for any reason, the Red Cross encourages you to volunteer or host your own blood drive.

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