The Blood Matters Blog ·

How Old Is Too Old to Give Blood?


First thing’s first, let’s do some myth-busting: adults can donate blood no matter their age. In fact, donors over 50 are less likely to experience an adverse reaction than younger donors, according to the AARP.

The confusion around an age cap dates back to a former policy of The American Association of Blood Banks, which used to bar people over 65 from donating without written consent from a doctor, however that rule was rescinded way back in 1978 after studies showed that older people could safely give blood. That change has made way for countless donors to continue to give well into their later life – donors like 97-year-old Dale Faughn, currently the Guinness World Record-holder for “Oldest Regular Blood Donor.” Faughn, a retired teacher and WWII veteran from Kentucky, is up to 36.5 gallons of donated blood and counting in his lifetime. He shows up to his local blood center every eight weeks to donate even more, according to Guinness.

So if you’ve ever considered giving blood but were worried your age might preclude you from donating, we encourage you to join one of our upcoming drives. You can also call us at 888-308-3924 for questions about your health history and eligibility. One appointment has the potential to save three lives, so whether you’re 18, 55 or 97, we’d love to see you.

Still wondering if you can donate blood? Visit our article "Can I Donate?" for answers to some of our most commonly asked questions.