Become a Donor

Eligibility

Are You Eligible to Donate with BioLife?

BioLife Plasma Services is licensed and regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and must comply with strict regulations to ensure product quality and the safety of both donors and of patients receiving life-saving plasma products.

General Donation Eligibility Guidelines

To participate in a plasmapheresis program, you must meet the following general donation criteria:

Age:

Minimum 18 years, maximum 69 years

Weight:

At least 110 pounds

Good Health:

You must be in good health and feel well the day you plan to donate.

Identification:

You must provide identification that includes the following information: a photo, a signature, date of birth, and acceptable donor identification number (SSN or for donors without a SSN the following can be used, PRC, BCC or Laser Visa Number). One form of identification is acceptable IF the identifying document provides all four of the above items: examples include a social security card, driver's license, valid passport, certified birth certificate, ID card issued by the government agency or other entity (e.g., US military, school, employment, state, etc.), or permanent residence card issued by CIS. Please note that EXPIRED or illegible forms of identification are not acceptable.

If you do not have one identifying document that contains the four required items, please bring two or more documents with you to the BioLife center.

Diet/Nutrition:

Proper food and adequate fluid intake are essential to a successful donation. For additional information in regard to diet and nutrition, please see our BioLife Health and Nutrition Tips or download BioLife's Health & Nutrition Brochure (PDF).

Proof of Address:

You must provide proof of a permanent local address within the donor recruitment area of the facility in which you would like to donate. This proof may be included in the form of identification provided above, or in a signed lease agreement between you and your current landlord or a utility bill or other item mailed through the United States Postal Service (USPS) and postmarked within the last two months. Some exceptions may apply to the donor recruitment area for college students and military personnel.

Medical Screening

PLEASE NOTE: Your eligibility will be determined at your physical screening or at your next visit to BioLife Plasma Services. We may not be able to provide all eligibility requirements by phone.

To assess your health prior to the first plasma donation and at least annually thereafter, our medical staff will conduct a medical history interview, a physical examination and a blood test.

The medical history interview consists of a series of questions about your past and present health history, including questions regarding possible exposure to certain infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.

In addition, prior to each plasma donation, you will perform a self-administered electronic questionnaire using a touch screen system. Upon completing the electronic questionnaire, you will undergo a brief eligibility screening, which includes the determination of your weight, blood pressure, pulse and temperature. This screening also includes a test for anemia (hematocrit) and protein level, which requires just a few drops of blood from your finger.

The items below do not cover all medications or medical conditions and the eligibility rules may have changed since this information was last updated. Additionally, some responses are confidential and can only take place when the donor is on-site at a BioLife Plasma services plasmapheresis facility.

Drugs and Medications

Alcohol

If you drank alcohol on the day you plan to donate (e.g., smell of alcohol on breath or about the person, slurred vocalizations, etc.), you will not be allowed to donate on that day.

Individuals showing physical and mental effects of chronic alcohol use are not eligible for plasma donations.

Antibiotics

If you are being treated with antibiotics, you may be eligible for plasma donation depending on the reason for receiving this type of treatment.

Immunizations/Vaccinations

Donor eligibility varies depending upon the type of immunization/vaccination received, the reason for the immunization/vaccination and the presence of any symptoms prior to the plasma donation.

Birth Control

You are eligible to donate plasma if taking birth control medications.

Other Medications

In most cases, taking medications does not disqualify you from donating plasma. Your acceptance into the plasmapheresis program mostly depends on the type and severity of the medical condition(s) for which you are being treated. Therefore, if you are accepted into our plasmapheresis program, you should continue taking your medication(s) as prescribed by your doctor, even on the day of donation. If a change in your medical condition requires a new treatment or a higher dose of your current treatment, you need to inform our center staff so they may evaluate your continued participation in the program, if needed.

In a few instances, you will not be eligible for plasma donation if the medication you are taking may harm the patients receiving medications made from this plasma.

Medical Conditions

Acne

You may be eligible for plasma donation. However, if on the day of donation you have a severe case of acne (extensive inflammation and pus-filled skin lesions), our center medical staff may temporarily defer you from plasma donation until your condition has improved.

If your acne is treated with antibiotics, you may be eligible to donate plasma depending on the type of antibiotics prescribed. If your acne is treated with oral medication excluding antibiotics, you will be eligible to donate after 30 days from your last dose.

Allergies

If you do not feel well or have any general allergy or cold-like symptoms (e.g., congestion, nasal drainage, hoarse voice, sore throat, headache, watery eyes) on the day of the scheduled donation, you should wait until the condition has improved/subsided to donate plasma. Please reschedule your appointment and get some rest. You may return to the center for evaluation when you feel well and healthy and no longer show signs of allergy or illness. If you have allergies to specific substances, you may be eligible for donation depending upon the type and severity of prior reactions and whether the allergen is not used in the facility.

Arthritis

You may be eligible for plasma donation, depending on the type and severity of your condition. Your personal physician may be asked to confirm your medical diagnosis and treatment, including his/her approval for you to donate plasma.

Asthma

You may be eligible for plasma donation, depending on the severity of the asthma and the type of treatment required for proper control of symptoms. In addition, you must also be free of symptoms on the day of donation if accepted into the program.

Autoimmune Diseases

You may be eligible to donate plasma, depending on your diagnosis, the severity of your condition and the treatment needed to control your symptoms. Your personal physician may be asked to confirm the medical diagnosis and treatment, including his/her approval for you to donate plasma.

Blood Pressure, HIGH (Hypertension)

If you have a history of high blood pressure controlled with or without medication, you may be eligible for plasma donation. However, donor eligibility may vary depending on the severity of the disease and/or the type of treatment required to control the blood pressure. In addition, prior to each plasma donation, your blood pressure must be within our established acceptable limits.

Blood Pressure, LOW (Hypotension)

If you have a history of low blood pressure, you may be eligible for plasma donation as long as your blood pressure is within our established acceptable limits on the day of donation.

Cancer

You may be eligible for plasma donation based on the type and/or severity of the cancer treatment received, and length of time in remission. Your personal physician may be asked to confirm your medical diagnosis and treatment, including his/her approval for you to donate plasma.

Cholesterol, HIGH

You may be eligible to donate plasma with high cholesterol even if you are taking medication to lower cholesterol.

Cold, Flu, Sore Throat

If you do not feel well on the day of the scheduled donation, you should wait a few days until the condition improves or has subsided to donate plasma. Please reschedule your appointment and get some rest. You may return to the center for evaluation when you feel well and healthy and no longer show signs of illness.

Diabetes

You may be eligible for plasma donation, depending on the type and/or severity and any required treatment for control of the diabetes. In addition, your personal physician may be asked to confirm the medical diagnosis and treatment, including his/her approval for you to donate plasma.

Epilepsy, Seizures, Convulsions

You may be eligible for plasma donation, depending on the type and/or severity of the condition,length of time since last seizure,and if the treatment is needed to control the seizures. Your personal physician may be asked to confirm the medical diagnosis and treatment, including his/her approval for you to donate plasma.

Heart Disease, Heart Murmur, Heart Valve Disorder

If you have a history of heart disease and/or heart conditions such as a heart murmur or valve disorder, you may be eligible for plasma donation depending on the type and/or severity and any required treatment for control of the disease/disorder. In addition, your personal physician may be asked to confirm the medical diagnosis and treatment, including his/her approval for you to donate plasma.

Herpes Simplex I, Oral Cold Sore

You may be eligible for plasma donation even if you are using topical antiviral medications, as long as the lesions are not active or wet at the time of donation.

Herpes, Genital

You may be eligible for plasma donation as long as no active lesions are present, even if you are taking antiviral medications prophylactically (preventatively).

Infectious Diseases (Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS)

A history of infectious diseases such as hepatitis, or exposure to individuals with a history of hepatitis, will require that you be evaluated for eligibility during the initial donor screening and physical examination.

If you are known to be HIV positive or have a history of AIDS, you will not be eligible for plasma donation.

Infectious Mononucleosis (Mono)

You may be eligible for plasma donation once the infection has passed.

Kidney Disease

You may be eligible for plasma donation, depending on the type and/or severity and any required treatment for control of the kidney disease. In addition, your personal physician may be asked to confirm the medical diagnosis and treatment, including his/her approval for you to donate plasma.

Lyme Disease

You may be eligible for plasma donation as long as you are free of symptoms and antibiotic treatment has been completed.

Mad Cow Disease or Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), Travel Outside of USA

Due to concerns about vCJD, the FDA has determined that the following individuals are not eligible to donate plasma:

  • If you have vCJD.
  • If you have stayed three months or more, cumulatively, in the United Kingdom from 1980 through 1996.
  • If you have stayed 4 years or more, cumulatively, in France from 1980 to present.
  • US Military personnel or dependents who were associated with:
  • US Military bases in Belgium, the Netherlands or Germany for 6 months or more from 1980 through 1990.
  • US Military bases in Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Italy or Greece for 6 months or more from 1980 through 1996.
  • Time on board ship is NOT included in computing the "travel time" spent in the area. For vCJD, only time spent ashore will be included as "travel time."
  • Recipients of blood transfusion in the United Kingdom countries (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man, Channel Islands, Gibraltar or Falkland Islands) or France between 1980 and present.

Additional information about the FDA's position on vCJD can be found here.

Menstruation

You may donate during menstruation provided you feel well on the day of donation.

Mental Disorders (Depression, Anxiety, Bi-Polar/Manic Depression Disorder, etc.)

If you have a history of mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, etc., you may be eligible for plasma donation depending on the severity of the medical condition and type of treatment required for proper control of symptoms. In addition, your personal physician may be asked to confirm the medical diagnosis and treatment, including his/her approval for you to donate plasma.

Pain (Chronic)

You may be eligible to donate plasma, depending on the reason and treatment for the pain (e.g., medical condition). You must be symptom free the day of donation and able to remain comfortably in the donor chair for the entire plasmapheresis procedure.

Pregnancy

You are not eligible for plasma donation during pregnancy. You will be eligible for plasma donation 6 months after delivering, miscarrying or terminating a pregnancy.

Skin Condition

You may be eligible for plasma donation, depending on the type and/or severity of your condition. In addition, the skin over the vein area to be used for plasma collection must not be affected.

Note: The final decision to accept or exclude a donor is determined on the day of the scheduled plasma donation, at the plasmapheresis facility, based on the medical history interview, the physical exam and laboratory tests. Details of each donor's health and activities are discussed prior to plasma donation in a confidential setting, and the final determination of eligibility is made at that time. In some cases, we may need to obtain documentation from your personal physician in order to approve you to donate. As it could take time to acquire all documentation and approvals, we may temporarily defer you from donation until all approvals have been obtained.

If you are interested in donating plasma and uncertain whether you are eligible, please call or visit your local BioLife Plasma Services facility to schedule an appointment to determine your eligibility for plasma donation.

Medical Procedures

Blood Transfusion

You may be eligible for plasma donation once 12 months have passed from the receipt of the blood products.

Dental Procedures:

Cavity filled, crown or root canal – you may be eligible to donate plasma the day after completion of the procedure. Tooth extraction, deep cleaning, implant or extensive oral surgery – you may be eligible to donate plasma 7 days after completion of the procedure/treatment, if you are free of symptoms. Dental abscess – you may be eligible to donate plasma after treatment is completed, if you are free of symptoms.

Donations (Platelets and Whole Blood)

Donors who donate one unit of whole blood will be eligible for plasma donation after 8 weeks (or 56 days) from the date of donation.

Donors who donate a double unit of red cells will be eligible for plasma donation after 16 weeks (or 112 days) from the date of donation.

Donors who donate platelets or plasma for another donation program will not be allowed to donate plasma while participating in the other donation program. Individuals can only participate in one collection program at a time.

Gastric Bypass Surgery

You may be eligible for plasma donation 12 months after surgery if you feel well. Your personal physician may be asked to verify his/her approval for you to donate.

Organ/Tissue Transplants

Human organ, allogeneic bone marrow or stem cell — you will not be eligible for plasma donation. Human tissue transplants — you may be eligible to donate plasma 12 months from the date of the transplant, depending on the tissue received. You may be eligible to donate plasma, if you have had a non-human tissue transplant, depending on the severity of the medical condition and type of tissue. Xenotransplant material — you will not be eligible for plasma donation (per FDA requirements).

Other Surgeries

You may be eligible for plasma donation, depending on the reason for surgery, as long as you feel well, have been released from doctor's care and have resumed full activities. The majority of surgeries are acceptable.

Miscellaneous

Piercing (Ears/Body)

A recent piercing may affect your eligibility to donate for a period of 4 months up to 12 months, depending on the type of procedure used to complete the piercing and whether or not the piercing shows sign of infection. You must be able to explain how the piercing was performed and briefly describe the technique used to the center medical staff so they can determine your donation eligibility.

Tattoo

A recent tattoo may affect your eligibility to donate for a period of 4 months up to 12 months, depending on the state in which the tattoo was applied. You may be eligible to donate if your tattoos are older.