Published by Kirby Winn on Monday, August 1, 2022 in Blog

Following new guidance issued by the FDA in July, ImpactLife has removed indefinite deferrals for 5126 potential donors who were previously deferred from blood donation due to travel or residence in the United Kingdom, France, or Ireland. The deferral was related to a theoretical risk of transmitting variant Cruetzfeldt-Jakob Disease to blood transfusion recipients. Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, or vCJD, can be transmitted to humans by eating beef infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, also known colloquially as Mad Cow Disease). FDA has determined this is no longer a concern for donors who have previously lived in the United Kingdom and other European countries.

Schedule Now

The new guidance from FDA removes the deferral recommendations associated with geographic risk of exposure to Mad Cow Disease for time spent in the United Kingdom (1980 – 1996); time spent in France and Ireland (1980 – 2001); and receipt of a blood transfusion in the U.K., France or Ireland (1980 – present). ImpactLife is now reaching out to 5126 potential donors who were previously deferred under the former eligibility criteria. Individuals who have questions about their eligibility for blood donation are asked to call ImpactLife at (800) 757-5401 or see

“It’s very exciting,” said Pete Lux, Vice President, Donor and Patient Services. “We don’t get big changes like this very often where we get to welcome back so many donors who were previously deferred.”

The opportunity to expand the blood center’s donor base comes during a challenging time for our region’s blood supply. In recent weeks, the blood supply has been as low as just a two- to three-day supply for type O-negative and O-positive red blood cells. ImpactLife urges all eligible and potential donors to schedule appointments for donation during the first weeks of August. To schedule, call ImpactLife at (800) 747-5401, visit, or download the ImpactLife mobile app at


comments powered by Disqus

About The Author

Kirby Winn

Kirby Winn serves as Manager, Public Relations for ImpactLife. He enjoys working with media across the blood center's service region to share the stories of patients who have been helped by the generous volunteers who support our mission.

See more by this author