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FDA removes blood donor deferrals for time spend in Europe

South Texas Blood & Tissue is welcoming members of our community who
have never tried to give blood, or were deferred from donating, because of time spent in

Donors who could not give previously because they spent time in the United Kingdom, Ireland
and France between 1980-2001 are now eligible to give blood again. Anyone who received a
blood transfusion in the United Kingdom, France and Ireland from 1980-present is also eligible.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration recently updated blood donor eligibility guidelines, and
South Texas Blood & Tissue has implemented those new guidelines, which stemmed from
concerns about variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD).

After years of research, the FDA concluded that the risk of transmission of vCJD through blood
donation was negligible. This is in addition to changes from the FDA in 2020 that restored
donors who had lived in other parts of Europe.

The Veterans Administration estimated the changes restored eligibility to more than 4 million
veterans, civilians and family members worldwide.

“We’re heard for many years from people who spent time in these countries – many times
members of the military and their families – wanting an opportunity to give blood or platelets,”
said Adrienne Mendoza, Chief Operating Officer, South Texas Blood & Tissue.

The updated guidelines come at a crucial time. Patients across the country including South
Texas are facing an emergency blood and platelet shortage, as donations have not kept pace
with demand this holiday season. With more donors now eligible to give there is an opportunity
to re-build the lifesaving blood supply.

Anyone previously deferred will be contacted by South Texas Blood & Tissue about donating
or to find out if you are eligible to donate call 210-731-5590, extension 2243.

Blood and platelet donations can be made at any of the nine donor rooms. Walk-ins are
welcome. To make an appointment or find a donor room, call 210-731-5590 or visit

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