FDA proposed guidelines could increase the number of people able to donate blood

Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 7:48 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed guideline changes for blood donation.

The new policy would ease restrictions on donations from gay and bisexual men by eliminating the three-month waiting period.

If passed, the donor history questionnaire would then be revised to ask all potential donors about new or multiple sexual partners in the last three months regardless of sexual orientation.

In a statement Vitalant, one of the nation’s largest non-profit blood service providers, says the change will not happen overnight, and once approved, the organization will work to update its systems and train staff as quickly as possible.

”You truly save somebody’s life every time you donate blood. You come into our center or our mobile blood drive, and you there may be about an hour and you’re just sitting around, and you see your unit get shipped off. And you don’t ever get that hey I just saw it gets used, you don’t understand that it truly saves somebody’s life,” said Tori Robbins, communications manager for Vitalant in Rapid City.

In 2022, the FDA also made changes to the blood donations policies allowing donation from people who have traveled to France, Ireland, or the U.K. or received blood transfusions in those countries.