TGA gives the OK for UK residents to donate blood

The TGA has approved a submission by Red Cross Life Blood to lift the ban on those who resided in the UK to donate blood.

Those who have lived in the UK and have previously been banned from giving blood will now be able to donate after the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved Red Cross to accept their donations.

Currently, those who were residents of the UK between 1980 and 1996 are barred from donating to the Red Cross Lifeblood due to the outbreak of Mad Cow Disease during that time period. The ban, which came in to effect in 2000, consequently stopped around 700,000 people from donating for decades due to fears of exposure to the disease.  

The change is due to come into effect before the end of 2022 and comes with a huge positive response from the Australian community who have been rallying for the change for years.

Lifeblood made the submission to remove the ban in 2021 with their team working tirelessly over the past 12 months gathering evidence to support the request.

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease is an incurable disease that affects the brain causing loss of co-ordination and memory and is fatal. It was first discovered in the UK in 1986 with the outbreak devasting the nation.

The rule changes will apply to both blood and plasma donations and are likely to come into effect once changes are made to the current screening process including the required questionnaire prior to donation.

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