Kentucky Blood Center Implements Recently Changed FDA Guidelines Oct. 13, 2020

KBC Welcomes Back Military Donors and Others


LEXINGTON, Ky. – Based upon revised U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines, Kentucky Blood Center recently implemented changes to donor eligibility criteria related to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (“mad cow”), malaria and human immunodeficiency virus.

“We are pleased that the FDA advised these changes and hope it will allow more individuals to donate critically needed blood products to help their fellow Kentuckians,” said Dennis Williams, MD, KBC’s medical director. “We know many loyal blood donors have been unable to donate for a very long time and are looking forward to saving lives again.”

The new blood donation criteria cover three primary areas:

  • Deferrals are lifted for those who have spent time in areas of Europe or on European military bases, as some of these countries are no longer considered a risk of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) or variant CJD, also known as “Mad Cow Disease.”
    • There are two exceptions: An indefinite deferral will remain for those who lived in Ireland or France for 5 years or more cumulatively in the period from 1980 to 2001. An indefinite deferral also remains for persons who lived in the United Kingdom for three months or more cumulatively in the period from 1980 to 1996.
  • Deferrals for certain prospective donors have been reduced from 12 months to 3 months, including:
    • Men who have sexual contact with other men
    • Blood transfusion recipientsAccidental blood exposures
    • Tattoos and body piercings not from a state-regulated establishment

  • Deferrals reduced from 12 months to 3 months for those who have traveled to malaria-risk areas.


Individuals who were previously given a permanent deferral by Kentucky Blood Center for military, or European travel  or received a 12-month deferral listed above which should be reduced, will need to complete a Request for Eligibility Review and await further instruction from KBC before coming to donate.

If a person believes they are eligible to donate under the new guidelines and has never attempted to donate with Kentucky Blood Center, they can simply make an appointment to donate at their convenience.

Those who have questions about their eligibility should complete the form linked above or call 859-519-3808.

KBC has been working to implement the changes since they were announced by the FDA in April 2020. Implementation required modification of protocols and computer systems, which must be done in a controlled manner in accordance with good manufacturing practices.


About Kentucky Blood Center

Celebrating more than 50 years of saving lives in Kentucky, KBC is the largest independent, full-service, nonprofit blood center in Kentucky. Licensed by the FDA, KBC’s sole purpose is to collect, process and distribute blood for patients in Kentucky. KBC provides services in 90 Kentucky counties and has donor centers in Lexington, Louisville, Pikeville and Somerset.