Joplin, MO- "While our need for blood continues to increase, the donor pool is shrinking." And Freeman Lab Technical Supverisor Linda Neustel points out that some people may think they can't give, but actually do qualify. For example, those who are anemic. "If their hemoglobin is good that day, it's okay to donate."
And taking medication in general doesn't necessarily disqualify you. Most meds don't cause a problem. Added Neustel, "There are some exceptions. One is antibiotics - you need to be off from antibiotics for at least 24 hours before you can donate. Also people that are taking blood thinners - need to be off from them for at least 30 days."
Even cancer survivors can donate blood if enough time has passed. Neustel said, "Breast cancer, thyroid cancer, lymphomas, melanomas all have to have a 10 year waiting period." For cervical and prostate cancer, it needs to be at least five years.
International travel isn't an issue, unless you've spent time in an area with a high risk for malaria. You can help out by donating; Freeman is hosting two blood drives in January - next Monday, the 23rd at Freeman West and on January 31st at Freeman Neosho.