Age limit to donating blood

  1. I noticed that there are normally age limits to donating blood, 17 being the most common. Why must there be an age limit? Isn't a 16-year-old's blood just as good as a 17-year-old's? I can't imagine it would be that bad for a person's own health to donate blood. Is it because of responsibility? Like a kid might try and uh, donate more blood than he should? Seems like people normally care about themselves and don't donate when almost anybody could.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. adrenaline

    adrenaline 274
    Science Advisor

    Purely medical legal reasons, not physiologic as you stated.

    Most states consider those below 17 minors and since blood donation is not without risk, would require a lot of paperwork etc. to have a teen donate. Blood banks make exceptions for those younger than 17 for very special occassions like harvesting blood for cancer reasons or autologous blood transfusions etc.
     
  4. Why isn't it 18 then?
     
  5. jim mcnamara

    jim mcnamara 1,515
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Short answer: legal reason is often a synonym for arbitrary choice. Arbitrary is a player in every field that local laws infringe upon.
     
  6. This is the Red Cross' explanation for the age limit
    http://www.redcross.org/services/biomed/0,1082,0_557_,00.html
     
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