Testing/Safety

Thanks to advanced testing methods and strict safety requirements, the United States blood supply is safer than ever. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires all blood banks to use standard safety procedures and rigorously monitors compliance. Michigan Blood employs a team of skilled laboratory professionals who apply the most up-to-date testing technology to ensure every unit of blood is safe for transfusion to patients. The risk of contracting a disease such as HIV from a blood transfusion is about one in 1.5 million.

Pre-Donation Safety

  • Blood donors are not paid. This means less incentive to hide high-risk behaviors.
  • All donor information is strictly confidential.
  • All donors must undergo a health screening and physical guidelines must be met.
  • Donors with certain health risks or those diagnosed with infectious diseases are deferred from donating.
  • The donation process involves single-use, sterile supplies.
  • Any blood product that does not meet safety guidelines is safely disposed.

Donation Restrictions

You may have to wait to donate blood under the following circumstances:

  • Allergies – You may donate if symptoms are under control.
  • Colds & Flu – Wait until you have no fever and you feel well.
  • Dental Work – Wait 2 to 6 weeks after major procedures; OK after fillings and cleanings if symptom-free.
  • Infectious Diseases – Check with our Donor Services staff if exposed to any contagious disease (measles, chicken pox, mumps, mononucleosis, whooping cough) in the past 4-6 weeks.
  • Pregnancy – Wait 6 weeks after delivery or interrupted pregnancy.
  • Ear Piercing – You may donate if piercing was done with a disposable device (single-use sterile process) or in a doctor’s office; otherwise, wait 12 months.
  • Tattoos/Body Piercing – Wait 12 months if you received artwork or body piercing at a non-licensed facility or in a non-regulated state.
        You are eligible to donate after 2 weeks if you are healed without infection and received the tattoo/piercing in one of the following regulated states: AL, AK, AR, DE, HI, IA, KS, LA, ME, MI, MS, MO, NE, OK, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV.
        If you received your tattoo/piercing in Michigan, a record of the tattoo is needed to donate 2 weeks after the tattoo/piercing. Bring record of tattoo session or piercing when donating. The record should contain (all on one page): Your name, address, date of birth, and name of artist; procedure date; design of tattoo, location on body of tattoo or body piercing; name of the individual performing tattooing or piercing; and any known complications you have had with any previous body art procedures.
  • Travel – Some regions are at risk for malaria
  • Syphilis or gonorrhea – Wait 12 months after treatment.
  • Skin Infections – Wait until wounds or burns are healed and infection-free.
  • Medications – Many are acceptable but you must know the exact name.
  • Vaccinations – Flu / can donate; Other vaccinations / check with Donor Services staff.
  • Past Deferrals – Please try again because changes in donor criteria may make you eligible now.

You may not donate blood if:

  • You have AIDS, a positive HIV test, some blood diseases, or epilepsy.
  • You have chronic lung, liver, or heart disease.
  • You have had hepatitis.
  • You have spent a total of 3 months in the United Kingdom between 1980 and 1996.

Blood Testing

Extensive testing is performed on every pint of donated blood. A total of 13 tests are conducted before a pint is released for transfusion.

  • ABO/Rh blood type
  • Red blood cell antibodies
  • Syphilis
  • Hepatitis B (HBV) – three separate tests
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS – two separate tests
  • Human T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus (HTLV)
  • Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) – two separate tests
  • West Nile Virus (WNV)
  • Chagas disease