DOD Changes Blood-Donation Policy
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 -- The Defense Department is changing its military blood-donation regulations to allow for a wider spectrum of civilian donors. Current rules only permit blood donations from servicemembers, DOD civilians, retirees and their family members, Navy Cmdr. Michael C. Libby, director of the Armed Services Blood Program Office, told reporters. The new policy will enable non-Defense Department affiliated civilians to donate blood through the Armed Services Blood Program at collection points located on department or federal property, Libby explained. The policy change, slated to become effective later this month, will address concerns of veterans who aren’t military retirees, but nonetheless want to donate blood for the troops, Libby said. The change also should facilitate the collection of rare type AB blood plasma, a blood type that’s possessed by about three to four percent of the U.S. population.