Have you been wanting to donate blood? There is a severe shortage of all types of blood. If you have about an hour and 15 minutes, then you would be able to save a life.

Have you ever been told that you cannot donate blood because you spent time in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Europe in the 1980s? Maybe you were studying abroad, in the military or the family member of a military member, and that time overseas could have kept you from being able to donate, until now.

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What is Mad Cow disease and why were people restricted from donating blood because of it?

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

According to the American Red Cross, Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, which is also referred to as "Mad Cow Disease" is a disease that is not easily tested for after a blood donation and there was originally worry that patients receiving the blood could potentially be harmed.

READ MORE: Where in New York Are Blood Donations in Most Urgent Need?

When did this change for blood donations and people who were outside of the United States?

Blood donor at donation.
Kamonchai Mattakulphon

The change was made in October or 2022. When you go to a blood donation center or blood drive, make sure to complete the questionnaire as honestly as possible, and have a conversation with the person who is completing the questionnaire,

READ MORE: Things it takes more time to do than donating blood

When and where can you be scheduling your blood donation?

There are two main places that organize blood donations in New York State, here they are NY Blood Centers and American Red Cross. 

Things To Know For Your First Time Donating Blood

Donating blood can save lives. It's really important to donate if you meet the eligibility guidelines. If you've never donated before it might be overwhelming. Here's some information to help you get started.

Positive Affirmations at Grand Junction's Blood Bank

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