Past Deferral Review

New FDA Donor Eligibility Guidelines

If you have been deferred in the past from donating blood with Carter BloodCare or any of its prior entities (Wadley Blood Institute, BloodCare of Dallas, Amon Carter Blood Center, or Stewart Regional Blood Center) and would like to have your information reviewed with current eligibility criteria OR you need to check your eligibility status or have an eligibility question not addressed in the Carter BloodCare donor eligibility please complete the form below to begin a review of your donor records.

Donor Notification will provide you with written confirmation of the reason for your deferral status, or of changes made to your eligibility.

Notes:

  • Your records are confidential. MOST information CANNOT be given over the phone or by e-mail.
  • The review of your donor history can take several days up to several weeks to complete. Because each case is individual, some reviews may take longer than others.
  • You will receive a letter to let you know the reason for your deferral, and any changes to your donor status.
  • Blood center or mobile blood drive staff does NOT have access to your confidential records.
  • A complete review of your donation history will be performed. However, to determine if you meet current eligibility standards, we may need to contact you before the review is complete.
  • Please ensure there is a phone number/email address that we can use to reach you. If we are unable to contact you, we may not be able to properly process your review.

Why did the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) make these changes?

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The FDA made changes during a time that COVID-19 was stressing the adequacy of the blood supply, but not without evaluating scientific evidence on the safety of allowing donations from certain previously deferred donors.
With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and the shelter-in-place orders, thousands of blood drives were cancelled locally and nationally, as schools, businesses, and houses of worship were closed.
Only 4% of people in the Carter BloodCare service area (north, central and east Texas) give blood. The new guidelines will allow thousands more people to donate blood who were previously deferred.

Am I at risk if I need a transfusion because some previously deferred individuals may now donate blood?

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No. The FDA only changes the donor eligibility guidelines after careful study of available scientific evidence. They remain very conservative in their decision-making as to donor and recipient safety. They would not allow changes that compromise the safety of the blood. These guidelines are not unique to Carter BloodCare. All blood programs in the United States follow the same regulations.

If I lived overseas, may I now give blood?

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For many years donors have been deferred because of living in Europe and/or the United Kingdom through identified years and for specific durations. The previous deferral was because of risk of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD or mad cow disease).
Now, you will only be deferred for this eligibility requirement if one or more of these exceptions are true for you:

If you spent three months or more, cumulatively, in the United Kingdom (U.K.) from 1980-1996, and/or

If you lived five years or more, cumulatively, in Ireland or France from 1980-2001, or

You received a blood transfusion in the U.K., Ireland or France from 1980 to the present

(NOTE: The U.K. includes England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands.)

If you previously attempted to donate with Carter BloodCare or Stewart Regional Blood Center in Tyler and were deferred because of the above-mentioned criteria, you must be reinstated. Please follow the re-entry process on this page to change your status in our computer system before presenting to donate.

If you have never attempted to donate blood with Carter BloodCare or Stewart Regional Blood Center, you are welcome to make an appointment to give.

If I lived on an overseas U.S. military base, may I now donate blood?

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Yes. Presently, residency on a U.S. military base in Europe is not a deferral.
If you previously attempted to donate with Carter BloodCare or Stewart Regional Blood Center in Tyler and were deferred for this eligibility requirement, you must be reinstated. Please follow the re-entry process on this page to change your status in our computer system before presenting to donate.
If you have never attempted to donate blood with Carter BloodCare or Stewart Regional Blood Center, you are welcome to make an appointment to give.

If I was previously deferred for my residency in Europe and I am now eligible, can I just make an appointment to donate?

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If you have never donated blood with Carter BloodCare or Stewart Regional Blood Center and you are now eligible under these new criteria, you may make an appointment at a blood drive or donation center near you and give blood.
If you attempted to give blood with Carter BloodCare and were deferred because of the residency criteria above, you must follow the re-entry process on this page to change your status before showing up to donate.

I was deferred in the past for travel to malaria-endemic parts of the world. Has that deferral changed?

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Yes. The deferral period is shortened from 12 months to three months after travel to a malaria-endemic country.

However, if you were a resident of a malaria-endemic country before making your residency in the United States, you must be in the U.S. continually for three years, before donating blood.

If you travel back to a malaria-endemic area before three years in the U.S. has passed, the three-year timeframe will start over. After three years in the U.S., you may attempt to donate blood.

Is there a change in the deferral period for male-to-male sexual contact?

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Yes. The FDA has shortened the deferral period from 12 months to three months, for any male who answers ‘yes’ to the question, “In the past three months have you had sexual contact with another male?”
All U.S. blood centers, including Carter BloodCare, follow this guideline from the FDA because, as our regulatory agency, the FDA sets the blood donation eligibility criteria.
The question is not addressing one’s gender identity or sexual preference. The question is designed to assess human sexual contact and its associated risk with the spread of HIV.
There is also a three-month deferral for a female who has had sexual contact in the past three months with a male, who has had sexual contact with another male, in the past three months.
If you were deferred from donating with Carter BloodCare in the past and would like to be reinstated under the three-month guideline, please follow the re-entry process on this page to change your status.