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FDA updates blood donor guidelines for overseas travelers

Carter BloodCare notes previously deferred donors may now be eligible to give blood  

BEDFORD, TEXAS – July 29, 2022 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revised its deferral period for blood donors who have traveled overseas, a change that Carter BloodCare will begin implementing Aug. 30.

Because of FDA restrictions based on possible risk of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), commonly referred to as mad cow disease, Americans who had spent extended time in parts of Europe or the United Kingdom were ineligible to donate blood. The easing of these restrictions means individuals who had previously been deferred may now qualify to give blood.

As of Aug. 30, Carter BloodCare’s pre-donation screening process and health history questionnaire will reflect the FDA’s changes.

Those who have never donated blood with Carter BloodCare and are now eligible based on the FDA’s revision may make an appointment to donate at a donor center or mobile blood drive. Visit and click the Donate Now tab, or call 800-366-2834.

Those who attempted to give blood and were deferred based on prior FDA regulations are asked to complete the Deferral Review form online before scheduling a donation appointment. This simple and confidential form is available at on the Donation Eligibility page.

Donating blood consistently is a vital way to give back to the community. It’s particularly important at this time of year, as blood donations typically drop each summer when students go on break and families take vacations. In fact, high school blood drives account for up to 25% of the community blood supply.

By donating blood, donors help those in urgent need of lifesaving transfusions, including accident and trauma patients, those undergoing cancer treatments, mothers experiencing blood loss during labor, older adults with health issues, children with anemia, and many other North Texas neighbors in need.

Check your donation eligibility

About Carter BloodCare

Carter BloodCare is an independent, community blood center providing transfusion resources to more than 200 medical facilities in 50-plus counties of North, Central and East Texas. The nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization is one of the largest blood programs in Texas, delivering more than 440,000 blood products annually to meet hospitals’ requirements for their patients. Services include collection, processing, specialized laboratory testing, storage and distribution of blood and blood products.

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