Myth-Busting: Blood Donor Eligibility and Blood Pressure

Q: I have low/high blood pressure; am I eligible to donate blood?

A: Depending…read on!

According to the Red Cross Blood Eligibility Guidelines, people with high blood pressure still might be able to donate blood if their blood pressure is below 180 systolic (first number) and below 100 diastolic (second number) at the time of their blood donation appointment. Medications for high blood pressure do not necessarily disqualify someone from donating blood. Check out this website for tips on how to lower high blood pressure.

People with low blood pressure might also be eligible to donate blood as long as they are feeling well at the time of their donation. Drinking lots of water before and after donating will help their bodies adjust to the volume loss of blood (a good tip for anyone donating blood).

Photo courtesy of House of Sims on Flickr