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New FDA Guidelines May Allow Some Previously Deferred Blood Donors To Give Again

Giving Blood
Giving Blood
Giving Blood
Credit moonjazz
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Giving Blood

Some people who haven’t been able to give blood in the past or those who have been deferred from giving blood will be impacted by new FDA rules.

The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks has adopted new federal guidelines that will allow for the re-entry of thousands of people to the donor pool who were previously deferred, according to a news release.

The updated FDA guidance changes the period of deferral from 12 months to three months in several donor categories. 

Those include:

  • Travel by individuals who have never lived in a malarial endemic area but have traveled to such an area.
  • Individuals who have used non-prescription injectable drugs.
  • Individuals who have received a blood transfusion.
  • Men who have had sex with other men during the past year.
  • Accidental contact with another individual’s blood, such as through a needle stick.
  • Receiving a tattoo, ear or body piercing not from a state regulated establishment.
  • History of syphilis or gonorrhea, or sex with someone in these categories.


The FDA guidance also changes the deferral criteria for geographical risk of vCJD (Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, also known as Mad Cow Disease) for U.S. military bases in Europe excluding time spent in the UK from 1980-1996 (cumulative three months), and France or Ireland from 1980-2001 (cumulative five years).

Individuals who were previously given a permanent deferral by Community Blood Center of the Ozarks  for military or European travel, or received a 12-month deferral listed above which should be reduced, will need to complete a Donor Eligibility Inquiry Form online at www.cbco.org and wait for further instruction from the CBCO before going to donate, the news release states.

Copyright 2021 KSMU. To see more, visit KSMU.

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Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.