FDA restriction changes increase Lifeshare blood donations

The FDA has changed its regulations for blood donors based on new scientific information....
The FDA has changed its regulations for blood donors based on new scientific information. Restrictions that were deferring donors based on travel to Europe are now only three months.(KNOE)
Published: Sep. 2, 2022 at 2:44 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - FDA regulations that were restricting people who have traveled to Europe from donating blood have changed based on new scientific information.

The restrictions were in place due to the danger of mad cow disease and malaria transferring to blood-donation recipients, but new data shows that after three months post-return, those who traveled to Europe can donate blood if they have no symptoms of the two diseases because the contaminants will have dissipated by that time.

Jeremy Martin, regional director of LifeShare, said he expects this will increase donation numbers.

“The biggest change is actually dealing with mad cow disease,” Martin said. “A lot of people traveled over to Europe. So before, they couldn’t donate blood -- actually, now it’s been reviewed over 9,000 people are affected by this. So now, they’re actually having those reviews done to where they can come back and donate before the year was an indefinite deferral. Now, they are looking at it on a case-by-case basis where we’ve realized that it doesn’t provide any at-risk factors for blood recipients.”

Restrictions were also changed for those that have received at-home tattoos and military personnel coming from overseas.

People who fall into either of those two categories now only have a three-month deferral before being able to donate blood, which could increase blood supply for local hospitals.

For more information on how to donate blood or what these changes mean, go to the LifeShare website.