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The FDA has updated its guidance regarding Creutzfeldt-Jakob (Mad Cow) disease

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DELMARVA – Following updated guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD) today announced revised eligibility guidelines for prospective donors as it relates to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

In May of 2022, the FDA updated its guidance regarding Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (also known as Mad Cow disease, CJD or vCJD), thereby allowing more people to become eligible to donate blood.

Changes in vCJD criteria now allow the following groups to donate:

o   People who spent time in the United Kingdom from 1980-1996

o   People who spent time in France and Ireland from 1980-2001, and

o   People who received a blood transfusion in the United Kingdom, France, and Ireland from 1980-present

“We are excited to welcome newly eligible donors, who are looking to help their neighbors by making a blood donation,” said Emily Cunningham, Vice President of Blood Bank of Delmarva. "Blood centers across America have struggled to collect enough blood since the pandemic hit. These new guidelines will help ease the shortage by opening eligibility to many potential donors who have long wanted to help."

After updating computer systems and training protocols, BBD is now welcoming donors who were previously deferred due to one of the above criteria. BBD is currently contacting donors with previous vCJD deferrals to inform them of their potential eligibility.

There is no substitute for blood—only eligible donors can help meet the needs of patients in our local hospitals. Giving blood takes less than one hour from start to finish. Learn more or schedule an appointment to donate at www.DelmarvaBlood.org.

Some eligibility deferrals related to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease remain. To determine eligibility, call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8.