New Eligibility Guidelines for Blood Donors

Have questions about donating blood during COVID-19? We have created a FAQ series just for you! Read here.

Western New York hospitals are in constant need for donors to help keep supplies up for local patients in need. Our supplies stay local, meaning your blood donation with ConnectLife could go to patients at Oishei Children’s Hospital, Buffalo General Medical Center, ECMC, and many more.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Western New York, we, like many blood centers across the country struggled to fill the shelves at our hospitals because less and less people were donating blood. That is when the FDA released new guidelines in hopes that more people across the country would roll up their sleeves and donate blood.
As of April 2, 2020 The FDA released new guidelines for blood donation, giving many donors a greater opportunity to donate and help save lives in our community! Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Provides Updated Guidance to Address the Urgent Need for Blood During the Pandemic

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The timeframe blood donors must wait before donating was shortened from 12 months to 3 months for the following:
  • People with recent tattoos and piercings.
  • Travelers to malaria-endemic areas who are residents of non-endemic malaria countries. 
  • For male donors who have had sex with another man and female donors who have had sex with a man who had sex with another man.
The deferral was removed and donors are now eligible for:
  • People who have spent time in certain European countries or on military bases in Europe who were previously considered to have been exposed to a potential risk of transmission of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) or Variant CJD. (Please note, more than three months in United Kingdom is still a permanent deferral.)
We are happy to welcome newly eligible donors! If you have been previously deferred for any of these reasons, please call us at 716-529-4270, so we can answer any questions and assist you with scheduling your appointment accordingly.