• Blood Donation

    Voluntary blood donations are a critical part of a functioning health care system. The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) encourages family physicians to regularly talk to patients about the importance of voluntary blood donation to help ensure the availability of an adequate national blood supply.

    The AAFP opposes the use of lifetime donor bans and arbitrary time-based deferrals that only serve to further stigmatize and marginalize certain groups, particularly gender and sexual minorities. The AAFP opposes any efforts to further restrict or limit eligibility of potential blood donors for reasons that are not evidence-based. Deferral periods for potential donors should be reasonably and consistently applied using unbiased screening tools to determine individual risk. The length of any specific, time-based donor deferrals should be supported by evidence and should take into consideration the accuracy of the latest screening and testing technologies for blood-borne pathogens. The AAFP supports continued research into individualized risk assessments as a reasonable alternative to broad-based, time-based deferrals for potential blood donors. (February 2022 BC)