FDA no longer requires indefinite deferral for donors who traveled or resided in the UK, France or Ireland

Risk of transmitting Variant Cruetzfeldt-Jakob Disease no longer cause for donation deferral.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) no longer requires the indefinite deferral of blood donors because of travel or residence in the United Kingdom, France or Ireland. 

The deferral was originally required because of concerns that Variant Cruetzfeldt-Jakob Disease (also known as Mad Cow Disease and vCJD) might be transmitted to transfusion recipients. The FDA has determined this is no longer needed for donors who have previously lived in these locations.  

The FDA (Food & Drug Administration) no longer requires a lifetime deferral for:

  • ·   individuals who resided three months or longer in the United Kingdom between the years of 1980 and 1996.
  • ·   individuals who spent time in France and Ireland that adds up to five or more years from January 1, 1980 through December 31, 2001. 
  • ·   individuals who received a blood transfusion in the UK, Ireland or France January 1, 1980 to present.

“We are happy to announce that the FDA has removed the recommendations to defer indefinitely blood donors for the above conditions," said Hoxworth Director Jose Cancelas MD, PhD. “If you have been deferred as a blood donor for one of the aforementioned criteria, you can be requalified as a donor, provided you meet all other eligibility requirements."

If you were previously deferred due to travel risks associated with vCJD, please contact Hoxworth Blood Center at 513-558-1917. A review of your history is needed prior to a blood or platelet donation so existing deferrals can be appropriately removed.  

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