LifeShare Blood Center is welcoming back donors who, for years, were unable to give blood because of restrictions imposed by the FDA. Donors who lived in parts of Europe and the United Kingdom could not donate blood in the U.S. because of risks associated with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease – also known as Mad Cow Disease.
“The restrictions disproportionately affected members of the Armed Forces and their families. After serving their country overseas, many veterans returned home to serve their communities by donating blood. Unfortunately, local blood centers like LifeShare had to turn these donors away,” said Executive Director of Blood Operations, Benjamin Prijatel.
The change could provide hundreds of additional blood donations each year, saving countless lives in the region.
Currently, blood inventory is low, however, local hospitals are still performing their normal operations, and thus, the need for blood has not decreased. “LifeShare is thrilled to inform these donors of the change in the FDA’s guidance, and welcome them back as blood donors. Our communities face many challenges in ensuring a sustained blood supply. Increasing the number of eligible blood donors helps everyone,” said Kourtney Washington, of LifeShare Blood Center.
Donors previously deferred for Mad Cow risk will still have to meet all other eligibility requirements. Donors with questions can visit a donation center or contact LifeShare before donating to see if they qualify. LifeShare encourages these donors to make a donation appointment at their local donor center. Donation appointments are available at: www.lifeshare.org.