2020 FDA Deferral Changes on Donor Eligibility

2020 FDA Deferral Changes on Donor Eligibility

Effective Monday, October 12, 2020, Kentucky Blood Center began accepting individuals as blood donors who were previously deferred by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines which regulate the blood industry. The FDA announced the revised guidelines in April, but KBC needed time to modify computer systems, write procedures and train our staff on how to implement these changes safely. Thank you for your patience.

If you tried to donate with us in the past and were deferred in our computer system, you will need to be re-entered into the active database again before you can donate (see “Re-entry Process” below).

Examples of the changes include:
No deferral time now (eligible to donate again):
  • Individuals who were stationed with the military or lived on a base in Europe from 1980 to 1996; the previous deferral was because of risk of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD or mad cow disease).
  • Individuals who lived in Europe for five years or more from 1980 to the present; the deferral was because of risk of vCJD or mad cow disease. There are two exceptions: An indefinite deferral will remain for those who lived in Ireland or France for 5 years or more cumulatively in the period from 1980 to 2001. An indefinite deferral also remains for persons who lived in the United Kingdom for three months or more cumulatively in the period from 1980 to 1996.
  • Individuals who used bovine insulin for diabetes; it was also considered a risk for vCJD/ mad cow disease.

There are other changes that are not listed. You may be contacted about donation if you were temporarily deferred and the deferral time has been reduced.

Re-entry Process

If you gave blood with Kentucky Blood Center and received a permanent deferral in our system, please complete this Request For Donation Eligibility Review form. This will allow us to get your deferral evaluated for possible removal before you make a trip to our donor centers or a blood drive. If you come into the donor center without completing this step, the staff will be unable to remove the deferral and process your donation on site.

If you have never donated with us and you believe you are eligible to donate under the new guidelines listed above, the form is not required. We look forward to welcoming you as a blood donor with us. Visit www.kybloodcenter.org or call 800-775-2522 to make an appointment.

FDA documents regarding the changes can be accessed here: