Treatment with antithrombotic agents may affect one's ability to make blood donations. Because of the risk of bleeding after blood donation, the American Red Cross prohibits blood donation by patients on warfarin or heparin. Donations may be resumed after treatment has been discontinued for at least 7 days. Patients on aspirin therapy may donate blood; however, the drug must be discontinued for 48 hours prior to platelet apheresis. Antithrombotic agents such as ticlopidine and clopidogrel must be discontinued for 7 days prior to apheresis.
Generally, blood donors must be healthy; must be at least 17 years old (or 16 years old if allowed by state law); must weigh at least 110 pounds; and must not have donated blood in the last 8 weeks (56 days). Healthy is defined as feeling well and being able to perform normal activities.
Dr. Garrett is a clinical pharmacist practitioner at Cornerstone Health Care in High Point, NC.