Safety is our number one priority at The Milk Bank. With that in mind, we are changing our policy for infectious disease screening. The infectious diseases we test for, HIV, Hepatitis B&C, Syphilis, and HTLV, could be contracted without any apparent symptoms. Therefore, if donors choose to continue milk donation, our medical board recommends that we ask the donor to have the simple blood screening test repeated 6 months following their initial blood draw.
Current Milk Donors will be required to repeat infectious disease screening every 6 months.
What does this mean?
Active donors will be asked to have a repeat blood draw every 6 months until 24 months postpartum.
I am a one-time donor, what does that mean for me?
Nothing. You will still be required to be screened for infectious diseases by having a blood draw prior to becoming an Approved Donor, at the expense of The Milk Bank, but no further testing will be required.
I donated once when my baby was 3 months old and I am now done breastfeeding my 12-month-old and want to empty my freezer, Do I need to repeat the blood draw?
Yes, before we can accept your last donation, you will need to have your blood drawn again.
I plan to donate from the time my baby is born until 24 months postpartum, is it really necessary for me to have my blood drawn 3 or 4 times?
Yes. It will be necessary so that we can ensure the safest donor milk possible to those who need it most.
Why are making this change, it’s so inconvenient!
We know! Your time is valuable. You’re juggling baby, pumping, working and the last thing you need is another blood draw. We also know that you care about the life of a preemie you’ve never met and have chosen to donate your excess breastmilk to help. We hope you understand the necessity of ensuring the utmost safety for these fragile infants.
Where do I go to get my blood drawn?
We try to make the blood draw as convenient as possible for donors. Donors can use one of the following services for blood draws:
- Quest Diagnostics: You are welcome to visit locations closest to you, nationwide. We will mail you the required forms.
- Indiana Blood Center: You are welcome to visit any central Indiana Blood Center location. We will mail you the required forms.
- LABS Mail Kit: If a Quest or IBC location is not convenient for you, we will mail you a LABS Blood Draw Kit and ask that you take the kit to a health care provider or lab and ask that they draw your blood. We will reimburse any cost associated with the blood draw. The LABS kit will come with an overnight FedEx label. Please make sure you drop the kit in a FedEx Box the same day you have your blood drawn.
If you have a question that we have not addressed here, please email me at SLong@TheMilkBank.org.