Law Allows 16-Year-Olds to Give Blood July 10, 2008

16-Year-Olds Can Become High School Lifesavers Starting July 15

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Beginning July 15, Kentucky law allows 16-year-olds to donate blood with parental consent. Kentucky Blood Center officials hail the change as a safe, prudent opportunity to expand the blood donor base.

“This will be very beneficial in increasing the range of eligible blood donors,” said KBC spokesperson Jim Tinker. “The blood supply is always teetering near the edge of a shortage and we have to ensure that as many Kentuckians as possible are given the chance to donate.”

“This is a safe, sound decision that has been enacted in many other states,” Tinkers added.

Donors who are 16-years-old must provide a signed parental-consent form. Forms are available online at

All blood donors must weigh at least 110 pounds, provide a photo ID and be in general good health. Each blood donor answers a series of health-related questions and undergoes a mini-physical that gauges iron level, blood pressure and heart rate. The blood donation itself takes only 10 minutes before refreshments are enjoyed. The entire process takes an hour.

KBC officials hope to see a 30 percent increase in blood donations made at high school blood drives in the coming year. That equates to an additional 2,000 blood donations.

Presently, the blood supply is lower than desired but at a safe level. However, projections show a steep decline beginning in the next few weeks. KBC needs to see about 300 blood donors daily to meet the needs of patients in central and eastern Kentucky.

The Kentucky Blood Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring a safe, adequate blood supply for 67 Kentucky hospitals and clinics thanks to generous blood donors in more than 60 Kentucky counties.