FDA Changes to Blood Donor Deferral Criteria

FDA changes will allow for the re-entry of thousands of individuals to the donor pool who were previously deferred. The updated FDA guidance changes the period of deferral from 12 months to three months in several donor categories, including:

  • 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).

If you feel you are eligible to donate due to these FDA changes click here to fill out our Donor Eligibility Inquiry Form.