AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Coffee Memorial Blood Center is asking the community to donate blood after new guidelines were released by the Food and Drug Administration regarding blood donors.

CMBC said thousands of deferred donors who were unable to donate blood for the last 20 years can now donate blood due to updated guidelines from the FDA regarding the risk of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, commonly known as “mad cow disease,” which is a rare disease of the central nervous system.

According to CMBC, potential blood donors who had spent time in Europe, including many military families stationed abroad, were not able to give blood because of the risk of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

“We were excited to hear this news and excited for the potential of new donors.  The summer months have been very challenging, and we could really use the return of these donors to help build our blood supply,” said Brad Duggan, Executive Director, Coffee Memorial Blood Center