Sign post for blood drive.
Shizzyo | Flickr

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced recently it is re-evaluating its ban against accepting blood donations from gay men. 

The FDA is now seeking ways to assess a potential donor's individual HIV risk as opposed to a general ban on a population. The agency is currently seeking public comment on the policy.  

The FDA must first approve updates to donor history questionnaires and donor education materials before blood centers can start taking donations from gay and bisexual men.
Canadian Blood Services | Flickr

Blood supplies are low again this year, and the American Red Cross is extending an urgent call for donations that began two weeks ago.

Shortages are common in the summer. Many potential donors are on vacation, and blood drives at high schools have to be put on hold. But this year, blood suppliers are feeling the crunch several weeks earlier than expected.

As Snow Melts, Red Cross Calls for Blood Donations

Jan 12, 2014
(KWMU staff)

The American Red Cross is asking donors to help replenish the St. Louis region’s blood supply after snow and frigid weather prevented blood collection for several days.

Red Cross spokesman Dan Fox says snow and cold across the country have led to a shortfall in donations.

“Here in the Missouri-Illinois region over the past five or six days, we’ve had to cancel more than 30 blood drives because of the weather,” Fox says. “And as a result of that, we’re seeing a shortfall of close to 900 units of blood and platelets.”

Dr. Spinella consults with Dr. Ronald Jackups about the blood supply at St. Louis Children's Hospital
Washington University medical school

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Dr. Philip Spinella served 12 years in the United States military, including a year treating traumatic injuries in the 31st Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad. During his deployment, he was also part of a small group of physicians evaluating transfusion practices in treating hemorrhagic shock resulting from battlefield injuries.

(via Flickr/Phil Roeder)

Jacob McCleland of KRCU's reporting used in this story.

The US Supreme Court will pick up a case that could determine whether police can legally administer blood tests without a warrant.

A Missouri State Highway Patrol officer took Tyler McNeely to a Cape Girardeau hospital for blood tests after he failed field sobriety tests but refused the breathalyzer.

(via Flickr/KOMUNews)

The American Red Cross has issued an urgent appeal for blood donors.

Donations to the Red Cross are down ten percent across the country in June, and officials with the agency say the current blood supply is half the level it was last year when it issued a similar plea.

Local Red Cross spokesman Dan Fox says the extreme heat keeps potential donors away.  He says people tend to give when natural disasters strike, even though the need is year-round.