Published by Kirby Winn on Wednesday, August 17, 2022 in News Releases
Officials at ImpactLife have reinstated more than 5000 potential blood donors following new guidance issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The change comes as the blood provider to 124 Midwestern hospitals manages a period of low blood inventory brought on by a seasonal decline in the rate of blood donation and ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Donors who were previously deferred due to potential risk of exposure to Mad Cow Disease are now permitted to give blood, provided they meet all other donor eligibility criteria.
ImpactLife strives to maintain a five-day supply for all blood types but has experienced low donation rates through late July and early August, leading to just a one-day supply for O-negative and two- to three-day supply for O-positive, A-negative, A-positive, B-positive, and B-negative blood types. The blood provider asks all eligible and potential donors to schedule appointments by calling (800) 747-5401, scheduling online at www.bloodcenter.org, or via the ImpactLife mobile app (www.bloodcenter.org/app).
The new guidance from FDA removes the deferral associated with geographic risk of 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 reaching out to 5126 potential donors who were previously deferred under the former eligibility criteria. Individuals with questions about eligibility for blood donation are asked to call ImpactLife at (800) 757-5401 or see www.bloodcenter.org/eligibility.
Blood providers across the U.S. are experiencing similar challenges and are now receiving help from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which recently launched a web site and messaging campaign to help recruit additional blood donors. The HHS "Giving Equals Living" campaign features public service announcements and information on the importance of blood and plasma donation. For PSA copy and information on the campaign, see https://www.hhs.gov/givingequalsliving/giveblood.
ImpactLife is a not-for-profit blood services provider to 124 hospitals in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin, as well as resource sharing partners across the country. ImpactLife operates 22 Donor Centers and holds approximately 5000 mobile blood drives annually to provide blood components needed for patient transfusions at hospitals within its four-state service region (www.bloodcenter.org/hospitals). For information, see @impactlifeblood on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat or www.bloodcenter.org.