Community Blood Center announces new donor qualifications

Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 5:43 PM CDT
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APPLETON, Wis. (WSAW) -The Community Blood Center announced Friday the implementation of revised blood donor qualifications released by the U.S. Food and Drug and Administration.

The FDA changed certain qualifications for blood donations related to Mad Cow Disease and malaria-risk travel in April of 2020 to help ensure a reliable blood supply amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The FDA also expanded eligibility for prospective donors, including men who have had sexual contact with other men as well as other changes associated with HIV risk.

“The FDA was prepared to change some of these recommendations anyway, but the coronavirus pandemic just expedited it a little bit,” explained Kristine Belanger, Chief Operations Officer at Community Blood Center. “Pretty much every single one of these changes has been something that people have expressed concern over the prior practice and are very excited that there have been changes made.”

The changes are as follows:

o Deferrals are lifted for those who have spent time in areas of Europe or on European military bases, as some of these countries are no longer considered a risk of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) or variant CJD, also known as “Mad Cow Disease.”

o Deferrals for certain prospective donors have been reduced from 12 months to 3 months, including:

o Men who have sexual contact with other men

o Blood transfusion recipients

o Accidental blood exposures

o Tattoos and body piercings not from a state-regulated establishment

o Deferrals reduced from 12 months to 3 months for those who have traveled to Malaria-risk areas

Belanger says COVID-19 and summer have presented many challenges and encourages anyone who is healthy and eligible to schedule an appointment with the Community Blood Center online or by calling (800) 280-4102.

Copyright 2020 WSAW. All rights reserved.

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