Effective Sept. 8, the Community Blood Bank is able to accept certain individuals as blood donors who were previously deferred by Food and Drug Administration guidelines that regulate the blood industry.

The FDA announced the revised guidelines in April, but the CBB needed time to modify computer systems, write procedures and train the staff on how to implement the following changes safely:

  • Eligible to donate immediately (no deferral time):
  • 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 also because of risk of vCJD or mad cow disease.

An indefinite deferral will remain for those who lived in Ireland or France for five or more years cumulatively from 1980 to 2001 and for persons who lived in the United Kingdom for three months or more cumulatively from 1980 to 1996.

The deferral time has been reduced from 12 months to three for donors who have: received a tattoo or piercing; traveled to but not lived in a malarial endemic area; had any possible blood exposure including, but not limited to, needle stick exposure, blood transfusion, organ transplant, skin or bone graft; or had male-male sexual contact.

Community members are urged to donate blood at the Community Blood Bank’s upcoming blood drive from noon to 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21, at UPMC Cole – Coudersport Wellness Center Multipurpose Room, 1001 East Second St., Coudersport.

The CBB continues to face a critical blood shortage. Around 32% of the organizations and businesses who hold blood drives for the CBB continue to cancel their scheduled blood drives due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These businesses and organizations may not be operating onsite or have limited operations.

Call Shari Jerman at 814-688-3696 to schedule an appointment to donate.

For more information or to find out if you are eligible visit www.fourhearts.org or call 877-842-0631.