Updated: Sep 5
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sarah Diina, 400-7249(c), sdiina@ConnectLife.org
ConnectLife to implement new FDA donor guidelines June 12
ConnectLife, Western New York’s only community blood bank, is excited to announce that donors will be welcomed under the FDA’s new guidelines starting June 12 as part of Pride Month. The changes will open blood donation to members of Western New York’s LGBTQIA+ community who, until now, have been unable to because of federal regulations.
“For too long, so many Western New Yorkers who were willing to literally give a piece of themselves to save the lives of their neighbors have been unfairly shut out,” said Sarah Diina, Senior Director of Marketing & Community Development at ConnectLife. “These changes mean we’re finally able to welcome in these new donors to be a part of our lifesaving mission while increasing the safety of the blood supply.”
Previously, male prospective donors who had sex with men had to go three months without a sexual encounter to be able to donate. Under the new FDA rules, all donors will be asked if they’ve had a new sexual partner or multiple sexual partners in the last three months. Those that answer yes will be asked if they’ve had anal sex in the last three months, and those that have will be deferred. All others will be able to donate, provided they meet the other donation criteria.
The changes will allow many who have wanted to donate for decades the chance to roll up their sleeves for the first time – at a time when ConnectLife is often at emergency levels of the most-needed blood types. Those extra donations will mean more lives saved at the many Western New York hospitals ConnectLife supplies, including those within Kaleida Health.
"Kaleida Health applauds and supports the lifesaving and science-based decision by the FDA to eliminate barriers for blood donation while preserving the safety of blood as an essential product for the care we provide our patients in Western New York and beyond," said Michael Mineo, MD, chief medical officer at Kaleida Health. "We rely on a consistently robust supply of blood and blood products to treat and save the lives of our patients, and are heartened by this change in federal policy that is being implemented by our partners at ConnectLife."
All the blood donated to ConnectLife stays local, helping nearly every hospital in WNY’s eight counties maintain safe inventory levels. And every pint donated helps save the lives of three of our neighbors. Donation appointments are available at centers in Williamsville, West Seneca, and Tonawanda, as well as mobile drives around the area daily. To schedule an appointment, visit ConnectLifeGiveBlood.org or call 716.529.4270.
Download this press release below.
ConnectLife helps people help others. As a federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organization and community blood bank, we save and enhance lives through organ, eye, tissue and blood donations.