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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Blood Banks

Blood banks across the United States are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA is the agency responsible for enforcing the standards for blood collection and the production of blood products. This includes transfusable components of whole blood, red blood cells, platelets or plasma, and pharmaceuticals that are created from blood. The agency also inspects blood banks and monitors reports of errors, accidents, and adverse clinical events. Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center follows all guidelines implemented by the FDA. ​

 

Eligibility and Health Screening

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses scientific data to determine which donors should be deferred based on the health history and tests performed on donated blood. All donors are required to complete pre-donation health screening to determine eligibility before being allowed to give blood. This includes a questionnaire where questions are asked about health history based on past and current behavior risks. All donors must meet the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) eligibility to donate. The questions on the health questionnaire follow FDA guidelines.

 

FAQs

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that men who have sex with men (MSM) can donate blood. However, the FDA’s Revised Recommendations for Reducing the Risk of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Transmission by Blood and Blood Products states MSM can’t donate blood for three months from their most recent sexual contact with another man.  

Some parts of the world have lifted restrictions for gay and bisexual men who donate blood. In the United States, the FDA recently launched a study to determine if different eligibility can be used at blood centers nationwide for gay and bisexual men. The results are expected in late 2022.  

There are no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines prohibiting women who have sex with women from donating blood. However, women who have sex with men who have sex with men (MSM) can’t donate blood for three months from their most recent sexual contact with MSM.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends blood establishments allow donors to self-identify and self-report for the purpose of blood donation. Deferrals to donate do not exist for transgender donors. However, men who have sex with men (MSM) can’t donate for three months from their most recent sexual contact with another man. Women who have sex with MSM can’t donate for three months from their most recent sexual contact with MSM.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends blood establishments allow donors to self-identify and self-report for the purpose of blood donation. Men who have sex with men (MSM) can’t donate for three months from their most recent sexual contact with another man. Women who have sex with MSM can’t donate for three months from their most recent sexual contact with MSM.

All donated blood is tested by the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approved testing kits to detect infectious diseases. Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is required to test for the following: HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) type 1 and 2, Hepatitis B and C, Syphilis, Human T-Lymphotropic Virus (HTLV) type I and II, West Nile Virus and Chagas disease. Donated blood must be quarantined until it is tested and shown to be free of infectious disease before going to hospitals.

During the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) epidemic in the 1980’s, the FDA implemented the first blood donor deferral policy in 1983 based on the little information the agency had about the disease. In 1984, it was discovered that the bloodborne pathogen HIV was the cause of AIDS, and that there were high rates of cases in men who have sex with men (MSM). In 1985, the FDA restricted MSM and people engaging in sex work and intravenous drug use from donating blood indefinitely.

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center offers many ways for people to give back to the community. There can never be enough Digital Heroes. Our Digital Heroes are writers, guest bloggers, social media influencers, and strong advocates in our community.

Support your community by hosting a blood drive. Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center needs 1,000 donations a day to sustain the blood supply. We work with groups of all sizes, from Fortune 500 companies to family-owned and operated small businesses. Become a volunteer at Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. The opportunities are endless! Volunteers have the chance to help at blood drives and community events during the week. We occasionally have opportunities for public speaking and light office work as well. If you’d like to explore these opportunities, complete the volunteer form, and we will contact you to schedule your training.

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center would like to thank you for taking the time and exploring these topics! 

 

 

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