Common Myths about Blood Donation: Part 1

We get asked many questions about blood donations, so this week on the blog we thought we would start working our way through out list of common misconceptions about giving blood.


Myth: If I’ve gotten a tattoo in the last two years, I’m not eligible to donate blood.

Fact: If you get a tattoo at a Texas state-licensed facility, you are actually eligible immediately for donation. If you get a tattoo at a non-state-licensed facility, you still only have to wait one year to donate.


Myth: If I’ve traveled outside the U.S. I’m not eligible to donate blood.

Fact: Travel to certain countries at certain times can lead to deferral, but not all travel excludes you from giving blood. If you are a frequent traveler and you have any questions about travel and blood donation eligibility, please contact your nearest Carter BloodCare donor center location. For a full list of deferred countries, check out the Traveling Abroad section on our FAQ page:


Myth: People who donate blood can pass out from the blood loss

Fact: Most blood donors feel fine after their donation. While it is true that some donors may feel faint during or after their donation, this is not a result of blood loss. A single whole-blood donation amounts to about 1 pint — less than 1/10 of what the average adult body contains. Reactions can be heightened, however, if you do not eat an adequate meal or hydrate well beforehand, so keep that in mind.


Myth: I can’t donate if I’ve recently been given a seasonal flu vaccine

Fact: The seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccines do not defer you from donating; though, if you are feeling flu-like symptoms you will not be eligible to give blood until you are symptom-free.


  1. I just returned from a 6 day trip to Belize. I stayed in Placencia for 2 days and San Pedro (Amergris Caye) for 4 days. I took antimalarial medicine before, during and after the trip. Am I eligible to give blood?

  2. Can someone tell me if I can donate if I’m on specific medications? I’ve asked at the Dr.’s office and they were unsure but didn’t think it was a problem. The meds are sertraline, pramipexole, klonopin, lyrica and hydrocodone. I really miss donating, but not sure if I can.

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