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Ask the Doc

August 2013 • Published in The Daily Press, Ashland WI

Q: I’m scheduled to donate blood the day after I have a tooth extracted. Will I be allowed to donate? If there is a deferral period, does it differ depending on the surgery?

Well wishes to you on your impending oral surgery. You may not be surprised to know that surgery deferral questions are some of the most common inquires we receive from blood donors.

In response to your specific question, we ask that all donors wait one week after having a tooth extraction to donate. If the extracted tooth is infected at the time of removal or becomes infected following the extraction, then you should wait three weeks from the date of surgery.

In general, length of deferral period is dependent on the surgery and person. While no surgery or patient is the same, we do follow certain criteria when determining when it is safe for a blood donor to give blood again following surgery.

To be eligible to donate after surgery:

    • Your surgical site should have no signs of infection (redness or swelling)
    • You are not taking any antibiotics related to the surgery
    • All stitches must be removed

    • You are feeling healthy and well

Please know any regulations and guidelines we put in place are there for your safety and well-being, as well as the safety of the patient that may receive your donation. More than likely, if you meet these eligibility requirements, you will be allowed to donate at any Memorial Blood Centers (MBC) location or blood drive. I would encourage you to call us to speak to a trained MBC staff member about any additional eligibility questions.

Next to your health, your donation remains highly important to us and to patients in need. Plan now to donate and help meet the demand at Ashland’s Memorial Medical Center and other area hospitals while building up the community’s emergency reserve. Make an appointment online by visiting Donate Blood and clicking the Schedule Now button to schedule a donation. You can search by zip code for a community blood drive or schedule an appointment to donate in August at one of our donor centers most convenient to you.

Jed Gorlin, M.D. is Medical Director and Vice President, Medical and Quality Affairs for Memorial Blood Centers. Elizabeth Perry, M.D. is Associate Medical Director for Memorial Blood Centers.

Send us your questions at askthedoc@MBC.ORG.

Call us today 1-888-GIVE-BLD (888-448-3253) to schedule an appointment, or to find out more about Memorial Blood Centers and how we partner with the Ashland community to save lives visit About Us. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.