Frequently Asked Questions: 16-Year-Old Donors

Why wasn’t 16-year-old donation allowed previously?

Michigan’s previous minimum-age standard (17) was established years ago; this is still the minimum age for donors giving blood independently (without parent/guardian consent). Michigan is now the 40th state to allow 16-year-old donors. A Michigan teenager who wanted to donate blood at age 16 inspired her father, then a Michigan State Senator, to introduce a bill to allow blood donation by 16-year-olds.

Is donating blood safe?

Yes. You cannot get AIDS or any other infectious disease from the act of donating blood. Equipment used to collect blood comes prepackaged and sterile; it is used once and then properly disposed.

Who will benefit from the blood I donate?

Patients in Michigan hospitals. Local hospitals are always the top priority for Michigan Blood. After all local needs are met, Michigan Blood also responds to needs elsewhere in the state and nation.

How long does it take?

Giving blood takes only a short time: just 7-10 minutes to draw your blood, plus approximately 40 minutes for registration, pre-donation health screening, and snack/rest period afterward.

What is the impact of blood donation on the body?

After donating blood, your body replaces fluid volume (plasma) within hours. Red cell and platelet replacement takes several weeks. The body's ability to manufacture blood continually is the reason that regular blood donation is possible.

What about sports?

Donors should avoid giving blood on competition days. Practice days are fine, but be sure to drink plenty of fluids and let your coach know you gave blood.

Does Michigan Blood sell blood?

No. Like all other nonprofit blood banks, Michigan Blood charges hospitals a processing fee for each unit of blood, to recover the costs of collecting, testing, storing, and distributing the blood. Michigan Blood maintains a fundamental commitment to sustain reasonable processing fees and support cost containment in local health care.

What happens to donors’ personal information?

All donor information is private and confidential. Michigan Blood does not share that information with any other organizations or companies. We comply with HIPPA and FDA regulations regarding donor information.

Does Michigan Blood ask blood donors to verify that they are able to donate legally?

Yes. Photo ID that includes birth date (such as driver's license) is preferred.  However, two forms of non-photo ID are an acceptable alternative, if birth date can be verified from at least one (for example, birth certificate).

Where can I find the parental/guardian consent form?

Click here to download the Welcome New Donor form. You only need to present the form once. Michigan Blood will keep the consent on-file until the donor turns 17.