Can I donate blood if I have been incarcerated?

American Red Cross
Administration
Persons who have been detained or incarcerated in a facility (juvenile detention, lockup, jail, or prison) for more than 72 consecutive hours (3 days) cannot donate blood for 12 months from the date of last occurrence. This includes work release programs and weekend incarceration. These persons are at higher risk for exposure to infectious diseases.
Guidelines on eligibility to give blood change from time to time. The most up-to-date eligibility information can be obtained by contacting the American Red Cross blood center nearest you.

Continue Learning about Blood Basics

Blood Basics

Blood Basics

Our blood is a living tissue with a variety of critical functions: It delivers oxygen and nutrients to our organs, fights infections and creates blood clots, preventing us from bleeding excessively when a blood vessel is damaged. ...

The liquid part of our blood, called plasma, is key for maintaining blood pressure and supplying critical proteins for blood clotting, immunity and maintaining the correct pH balance in our body -- critical to cell function. Plasma also carries the solid part of our blood -- white blood cells, which work to destroy viruses and bacteria; red blood cells, which carry oxygen through the body; and platelets, which help clotting. Learn more about blood basics with expert advice from Sharecare.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.