DES MOINES, Iowa (April 3, 2020) – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which creates and mandates all blood collection guidelines and blood donor eligibility criteria for the country, released vast and sweeping changes to blood donor eligibility on April 2, 2020.

Though these changes from the FDA come in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, they are positive changes for the nation’s blood supply. LifeServe has long advocated for the re-evaluation of several blood donor deferrals. As more and more eligibility requirements were implemented over the years, the pool of eligible blood donors has become alarmingly low across the country.

“This is an unprecedented situation,” said LifeServe Blood Center CEO and President Stacy Sime. “LifeServe Blood Center applauds the FDA for the work it does to ensure the safety of our country’s blood supply and the volunteer blood donors who provide it. This pandemic has threatened the supply of blood in our country. These significant donor eligibility changes will have an immediate impact on our ability to recruit additional volunteers now during this crisis as well as providing long-lasting positive impacts on the ability to keep a robust blood supply, not only in the communities we serve, but for our country.”

Due to the sweeping and vast natures of the changes, LifeServe Blood Center is expecting these changes to be in effect by the end of May.

“We understand that people who haven’t been able to donate due to long term deferrals are excited to give blood and we are excited to welcome new groups of blood donors to our lifesaving mission,” said Sime, “but we require time to implement the new guidelines and make these changes in a safe, well-thought out manner. Our top priority is to always ensure the safety of the blood supply so being methodical in these changes is critical right now.”

The time it will take to implement these sweeping changes isn’t necessarily a hindrance to new groups of donors. To maintain adequate social distancing, LifeServe Blood Center is not currently accepting walk-in blood donors. Appointments are required to give blood. LifeServe is currently scheduling donations for late April and early May to ensure a consistent blood supply in the for the weeks moving forward.


LifeServe Blood Center. Your Blood. Your Hospital. Your Neighbors.

LifeServe Blood Center is a non-profit, community-based blood center that has served the needs of local hospitals and patients in our regions since 1963. LifeServe relies upon generous volunteer blood donors to serve our community hospitals to save the life of your neighbors. As one of the 10 largest blood centers in the country, LifeServe Blood Center is the sole provider of blood and blood products to more than 120 hospitals located across Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota. LifeServe is committed to saving lives by providing premier service to volunteer blood donors and access to a safe, quality blood supply for our hospitals and neighbors. Your Blood. Your Hospital. Your Neighbors. For more information about blood donation or to schedule an appointment to donate blood, call 800.287.4903 or visit