CSRA blood bank glad to see restriction lifted for some donors

In a plea to social media this week, Shepeard Community Blood Center said they are dangerously...
In a plea to social media this week, Shepeard Community Blood Center said they are dangerously low on blood donations. It’s something they say is a nationwide problem, with fewer people feeling comfortable to go out and donate during the pandemic.(WRDW)
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 4:18 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Shepeard Community Blood Center can now accept donations from many veterans and active-duty service members who weren’t able to donate out of concerns about mad cow disease.

More than 20 years ago, the Food and Drug Administration imposed a ban on blood donations from anyone who spent more than six months in the United Kingdom or several European countries from 1980 to 1997. The concern was the possible risk of transmitting the human form of mad cow disease to blood donation recipients.

The FDA’s new guidance removes the deferral for time spent in the United Kingdom from 1980-1996; time spent in France and Ireland from 1980-2001; and receipt of a blood transfusion in the U.K., France or Ireland from 1980 to present. 

This comes after the FDA removed similar deferrals in 2020 for those who lived in areas such as Germany and Spain.

Most of these people were once very active donors, and many were veterans, active-duty military or dependents of those who served in the military.

Effective Monday, Shepeard will be able to accept all new and previously deferred donors who lived in these areas.

It comes as blood banks like Shepeard struggle to keep shelves stocked. The coronavirus pandemic disrupted many of the activities that were associated with blood drives that kept the supply flowing.

Donors must be in good health to donate, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be at least 17 years old (or 16 with written parental consent). Be sure to bring a photo ID or Shepeard donor card with you when you come to donate.

Call Shepeard at 706-737-4551 or visit https://www.shepeardblood.org if you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment.

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