LITTLE ROCK, Ark – A recent change in federal guidelines will make it easier to donate blood.

Arkansas Blood Institute is encouraging thousands of deferred blood donors to return to donating thanks to a recent change in FDA guidelines. Changes put in place 20 years ago have kept that group from being able to donate.

Deferment came if someone had spent time in Europe due to concerns about Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the so-called “mad cow disease,” which affects the central nervous system. In 2020 several European countries were removed from the exception list, and in a May update, all European countries have been removed from the list.

“We are grateful to see the FDA use the latest scientific data to adjust deferral rules, allowing us to welcome back many donors, and invite in countless others who have not attempted to donate due to the restrictions,” Dr. John Armitage, president, and CEO of Arkansas Blood Institute said. “This move will help expand our donor pool, as there is an ongoing need for blood donation, especially during the summer months.”

Arkansas Blood Institute is a not-for-profit blood supplier for more than 40 hospitals, medical facilities, and air ambulance operators. Donation appointments may be made at 877-340-8777 or at the Arkansas Blood Institute website.

To find out if the new FDA guidance affects you, call 888-308-3924.