FDA Deferral Change

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 guidelines this spring.

LifeServe Director of Quality Grant Pfeifer and his team got to work to amend LifeServe’s guidelines the day the FDA changes were announced. “LifeServe has been involved for many years in advocating for these changes and we were pleased to see so many positive steps taken,” Pfeifer explained. “Our teams have put in countless hours to make all of the appropriate changes to our procedures, computer systems, and documents necessary to implement these changes as soon as possible.” 

Though these changes from the FDA came in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, they are positive changes for the nation’s blood supply. As more and more eligibility requirements were implemented over the years, the pool of eligible blood donors has become alarmingly low across the country. These significant donor eligibility changes will have an immediate impact on our ability to recruit additional volunteers and continue providing a robust community blood supply.

There are many changes that may affect your eligibility! We’re working to contact donors who are affected by these changes. If you’d like us to look into your donor eligibility, please complete the Eligibility Questionnaire and we’ll be in touch!

Take a look at some of the biggest changes:
Military travel to Europe deferral: lifted!
Travel to Malarial risk area deferral: now 3 months instead of 1 year
Post-surgery deferral: now 3 months instead of 1 year
Recipients of blood transfusions: now 3 months instead of 1 year
Other high risk incidents: now 3 months instead of 1 year

“We look forward to being able to welcome back potential donors who were previously deferred from donation,” said Pfeifer. “We will continue to advocate for changes to regulations that allow people to donate lifesaving products for our community members who need them.”

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