Effective Tuesday, July 28, 2020 Carter BloodCare will be able to accept individuals as blood donors who were previously deferred by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines that regulate the blood industry. The FDA announced the revised guidelines in April, but Carter BloodCare needed time to modify computer systems, write procedures and train our staff on how to implement these changes safely. Thank you for your patience. HOWEVER, 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).
We are excited about these changes and have highlighted a few of them here.
Examples of the changes (in the words of this author, not the FDA) 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.
Deferral times now reduced to three months (previously were one year):
- After travel to a malarial endemic area (as long as you were not a resident of a malarial endemic country).
- After any possible blood exposure including, but not limited to, tattoo or piercing in an unlicensed facility; needle stick exposure; blood transfusion; organ transplant; skin or bone graft.
- After male-male sexual contact.
- After sexual contact with a high risk individual
There are other changes that are not listed in the interest of space.
If you gave blood with Carter BloodCare, or with our organization under a previous brand name (Carter Blood Center, BloodCare of Dallas, Wadley, Stewart Regional Blood Center in East Texas), and you were “indefinitely deferred” in our system, please complete this Request For Information form. This will allow us to get you entered into the system before you make a trip to our donor centers or a blood drive. You may also call 817-412-5603 to the Donor Notification Department with any questions about your eligibility.
If you have never donated with us, the form is not required. We look forward to welcoming you as a blood donor with us. Visit carterbloodcare.org to make an appointment. You can also text or call 800-366-2834 and let us help you.
Note: These changes were made after careful study of risks and benefits to the blood supply by panels of experts in our field. The panel evaluated a great deal of scientific evidence as well as the experiences in other countries with these criteria in place. The public should not be concerned about these changes endangering the safety of our blood supply. The FDA does not make changes lightly and only with great deliberation.
The documents can be reviewed at:
Request for Information
- Your records are confidential. MOST information CANNOT be given over the phone.
- The review of your donor history can take 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.
If Carter BloodCare personnel have informed you that you are classified as a deferred donor, we will provide you with written confirmation of the reason for this classification, or of changes made to your eligibility. 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 listed below that we can use to reach you. If we are unable to contact you, we may not be able to properly process your review.
We appreciate your patience during this process. Thank you for your willingness to be a blood donor.
This form contains health information that is privileged and confidential, the disclosure of which is governed by federal and state laws. If you are not authorized to use or disclose this information, you are hereby notified that any use, dissemination, distribution or copying of this information is STRICTLY PROHIBITED. If you have additional questions, please contact Carter BloodCare’s Donor Notification Department at (817) 412-5603.