Learn more about reasons for ineligibility
Safety of the donor and recipient is our top priority. Blood donation eligibility in the United States is determined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and we strictly adhere to their regulations. The following are some common guidelines to help you determine if you are eligible. If you have questions about eligibility, please call Blood Bank of Hawaii at (808) 848-4745.
Hemoglobin (temporary deferral, until improved)
Before donation we will test your hemoglobin level by taking a small blood sample from your finger. You will be eligible to donate if your hemoglobin is 12.5 g/d or higher for females and 13.0 g/d or higher for males. If your hemoglobin is too low, you will not be able to donate that day but please come back soon!
For more information about hemoglobin and what you can do to help build your hemoglobin level, please review our Understanding Hemoglobin brochure. Being deferred doesn’t mean you are anemic. Eating a consistent iron-rich diet including foods such as red meat, dark green vegetables and dried fruits, will help increase iron levels. Talking a multivitamin with iron may also help.
Travel and residency outside the U.S. (deferral varies)
If you travel to a Malaria region, you will have to wait three months before donating blood. You will have to wait three-years after living in a country* or countries where malaria is found. Up-to-date information about malaria and a map showing areas with risk of malaria may be found on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.
If you travel to an active Zika Virus area, you will have to wait 28 days before donating blood. Up-to-date information about Zika and a map showing active areas may be found on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.
Because of the risk of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD, also known as Mad-Cow Disease) some donors may have been deferred permanently because of their previous residency or travel history in the United Kingdom and Europe. However people who lived in certain European countries for 5 years or more from 1980 to the present will no longer be deferred with a few exceptions.
*Living in a country is defined as a stay longer than five-years.
HIV exposure (3 months)
Based on activities associated with an increased risk of exposure to infectious agents, men who have had sex with men are eligible to donate blood 3 months after last sexual contact. Women who have had sex with a man who has had sex with man are not eligible to donate blood for 3 months.
For more information on this deferral, click here to see our Men Who Have Had Sex With Other Men (MSM) Deferral page.