How Can I Make A Difference For People With Hepatitis C
Anyone can help raise awareness about this widespread disease. Citizens can write letters to their state representatives or local newspapers and get involved in volunteer efforts with liver disease or Veteran-affiliated organizations . Speaking at support groups and sharing your experience is also a good way to help others with HCV.
Complete Care And Our Patients Thank You For Donating Blood
Complete Care and our patients thank you for donating blood! Like all emergency rooms, Complete Care relies on donated blood to help save the lives of our patients. Just one donation can help save up to three lives! Blood cells, platelets, plasma its all useful and potentially life-saving. Find a local blood drive near you and schedule a date to donate today. And thank you, from the bottom of our hearts!
If you find yourself feeling especially ill after a blood donation, Complete Care is here to help. We are open 24/7 and welcome walk-ins. We are here for any of your health concerns. Visit your nearest Complete Care location today for quick, efficient, patient-centered care today.
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If You Have Hepatitis C Should You Get A Flu Shot
Yes. Having chronic hepatitis C is actually a good reason to get the flu shot. Chronic hepatitis C is a condition that can increase your risk of complications if you do get influenza. That’s why it is recommended for people with hepatitis C, and most chronic liver diseases, to be vaccinated against the flu.
To stay up to date with your influenza vaccinations, you need to be vaccinated every year–ideally, early in the flu season or as soon as the vaccine becomes available. Typically, flu season is considered to be October to March. It’s best to get vaccinated annually because the vaccine is designed differently each year to target the strains of influenza that are expected to circulate during that particular flu season.
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Who Is More Likely To Get Hepatitis A
People more likely to get hepatitis A are those who
- travel to developing countries
- have sex with an infected person
- are men who have sex with men
- use illegal drugs, including drugs that are not injected
- experience unstable housing or homelessness
- live with or care for someone who has hepatitis A
- live with or care for a child recently adopted from a country where hepatitis A is common
You Got A Tattoo Or Piercing
These giving blood restrictions pop up on a lot of lists as being some of the more surprising reasons you might not be able to give blood. The concern behind tattoos, piercings, and even intravenous drug use, is that the instruments and needles used in these practices may spread hepatitis.
For tattoos, you wont be asked to defer your blood donation so long as you live in a state that regulates its tattoo facilities. If you dont live in a state that regulates these facilities then you should wait 3 months before donating blood.
For piercings, you wont be asked to defer your blood donation so long as the piercing was conducted using single-use equipment. If the piercing was made using reusable equipment then you will be asked to wait 3 months before donating.
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Check You Are Able To Give Blood
Use this quick list to check you can give.
You can also read some of the most common eligibility questions we receive from blood donors.
If you have a health condition, have travelled out of the country recently, or if you answer “yes” to any question on your Donor Health Check questionnaire, please call 0300 123 23 23 or check the health & eligibility or travel section for further advice about whether this affects you donating blood.
The common reasons donors should check if they can give blood are:
- if you are receiving medical or hospital treatment
- if you are taking medication
- after travelling outside of the UK
- after having a tattoo or piercing
- during and after pregnancy
- if you have cancer
- after receiving blood, blood products or organs
If you have any questions then contact us by completing a web form or call us on 0300 123 23 23.
Can I Drink Alcohol Once In A While If I Have Hepatitis C
Alcohol can clearly contribute to worsening liver disease. You must discuss with your health care provider if any amount of alcohol is safe for you.
Alcohol can cause inflammation and scarring in the liver. If you have any underlying liver condition, such as hepatitis C or hepatitis B or damage from long-term alcohol use, your liver will be more sensitive to alcohol. When you have hepatitis C virus, alcohol on top of the hepatitis C can cause the inflammation and scarring to be worse, and overall damage to the liver may happen much faster when you drink alcohol.
Here is some helpful information about alcohol and hepatitis:
Also Check: Hepatitis C Cdc Fact Sheet
What To Eat Before Donating Plasma
Drinking plenty of water and eating a balanced, healthy diet is always a good choice, but its even more important on the days leading up to plasma donation. Make sure to get a good nights sleep before the day of your donation. Drink about 6 to 8 cups of water the day before and day of donating, and eat a protein- and iron-rich meal within 3 hours of donation.
High-protein foods include beans and legumes, beef, chicken, shrimp, cheese, eggs, milk, yogurt , and seeds and nuts. Broccoli, beef, beans, iron-enriched breakfast cereals, chicken, ham, dark leafy greens, raisins, and watermelon are all high in iron.
Avoid fatty foods like French fries and other fried foods, pizza, or sweets the day you donate, and dont drink alcohol the night before. These can affect your blood tests and prevent you from donating.
More Information On Eligibility To Donate
National eligibility guidelines must be followed when people donate blood in the blood service in specific countries. To find out whether any health conditions, medications, professions or travel history to could affect your ability to give blood, please search for detailed information in the national/local blood services.
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You Traveled To The Wrong Place At The Wrong Time
Travel exposes us to different cultures, customs, and diseases. Unfortunately, some of these diseases can affect your ability to donate blood.
Mad Cow Disease / Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease is an infectious brain disease that occurs in humans and can be passed on via blood transfusion. Individuals with CJD are not allowed to donate blood. Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, more commonly known as Mad Cow Disease, is a variant of CJD that can be passed on to humans when they eat food products from cows sick with Bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Once infected, humans can then pass vCJD on to other humans via blood transfusions.
In the 80s and 90s, the UK saw a widespread outbreak of Bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cows. Symptoms from vCJD can take years to show. Currently, there is no sufficient test that can be used to screen all blood donors for vCJD before donation, which is why certain restrictions are placed on potential donors who traveled to, lived in, received blood transfusions in and around the UK during those times.
In particular, you will not be allowed to donate blood due concerns over vCJD if you:
- Traveled/lived 3 months or more in the UK from Jan. 1st, 1980 Dec. 31st, 1996
- Traveled/lived 5 years or more in France or Ireland from Jan. 1st 1990 Dec. 31st,1996
- Received a blood transfusion in France, Ireland, or the UK from Jan. 1st, 1980 present
Appropriate wait times for blood donation if exposed to malaria:
What Are The Symptoms Of Hepatitis A
Some people have symptoms 2 to 7 weeks after they come in contact with the virus.3 People with hepatitis A typically get better without treatment after a few weeks. In some cases, symptoms can last up to 6 months. These symptoms may include
Some people infected with hepatitis A have no symptoms, including many children younger than age 6.3 Older children and adults are more likely to have symptoms.
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If You Might Have Herpes
Wondering if you have herpes and want to know before you donate blood? See your doctor to get tested for herpes and other common sexually transmitted infections , especially if youve recently had sex with a new partner.
Now that youve decided that youre eligible to donate blood, where do you donate?
Here are some resources to figure out where the nearest blood donation center is in your area:
- Use the Find a Drive tool at the Red Cross website to find a local blood drive using your zip code.
- Look for a local blood bank using the AABB website.
What Are The Tests For Hepatitis C
There are two blood tests needed to diagnose hepatitis C:
The antibody test–called HCV antibody, HCV Ab, or anti-HCV–is done first. If this test is positive, it means that you have been infected with hepatitis C at some point in the past. If your antibody test is negative, then you have never been infected with hepatitis C if you were infected within the past month or so, the test may not be accurate you may needed to be retested at a later date.
However, a positive antibody test does not tell you if you still have hepatitis C. For that, you need to have a HCV RNA test, which determines whether the virus itself is in the bloodstream.
If any RNA is present in the blood after 6 months from time of infection, then you have chronic hepatitis C.
If no RNA is detected in the blood after 6 months, you no longer have hepatitis C.
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What Can Disqualify You From Donating Plasma
If youre interested in donating plasma, requirements exist for a rigorous screening as part of the plasma donation process. Part of the reason that the screening process exists is to protect those receiving the donations, many of whom have compromised health. It also ensures that the donors themselves are in good enough physical health to avoid the side effects of donating plasma.
The requirements for donating plasma are fairly consistent. You must be at least 16 years old, weigh over 110 pounds, and have a valid ID. Do they drug test you before donating plasma? Not generally people who take certain prescription drugs, show signs of injectable drug use, or are visibly intoxicated are not allowed to donate plasma.
Part of the reason that the screening process exists is to protect those receiving the donations, many of whom have compromised health.
Certain health conditions also prevent you from donating, such as pregnancy or recent childbirth. If youve had dental work in the past 72 hours, youll be deferred. Also, if youve received the MMR vaccine or had chickenpox in the past month or taken antibiotics orally in the past 2448 hours or by injection in the past 72 hours, youre also deferred.
Can I Give Blood After Having Coronavirus Or The Vaccine
Yes, but if you have had COVID-19 please read our full coronavirus guidance for rules on attending a session before making an appointment to donate.
If you have had a coronavirus vaccine as part of the UK vaccination programme, please wait 7 full days after having the vaccine before coming to give blood on the 8th day.
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How Common Is Hepatitis A
In the United States, hepatitis A has become relatively uncommon. After the hepatitis A vaccine became available in 1995, the rate of hepatitis A infections declined by 95 percent in the United States. The number of reported cases of hepatitis A fell to 1,239 in 2014, the lowest yearly number of cases reported since the disease could be tracked.1 However, the number of reported cases increased to 3,366 in 2017, almost 3 times higher, mostly due to outbreaks among people who use drugs and people experiencing homelessness.1 Early reports suggest that the numbers of cases and outbreaks of hepatitis A increased further during 2018 and continue at these higher rates in 2019.2
Hepatitis A is more common in developing countries where sanitation is poor and access to clean water is limited. Hepatitis A is more common in parts of Africa, Asia, Central and South America, and Eastern Europe than it is in the United States.
Tests We Carry Out On Your Blood
You may have noticed that each time you give a blood donation we also take blood samples.
These samples are used to perform a range of screening tests in our laboratories.
Most of these tests are mandatory, in other words we must carry them out on every single blood donation, whether this is your first donation or just one of the many you have given over the years.
However, there are some additional tests that may need to be done on some donations as necessary.
Sometimes the tests cannot be done, for example – if you give an incomplete blood donation or no blood samples are obtained, or if we cannot take a donation because of poor veins or you have low haemoglobin level for blood donation.
The tests play a very important role in ensuring that we provide a safe blood supply to patients. We test for your blood group, so that we can select the correct group for the patient.
We also test for infections that can be passed from donor to patient via a blood transfusion.
The tests are carried out by computer-controlled automated machines which can test many samples both quickly and easily, so helping us to get blood to the hospitals as fast as we can.
Any donation that is reactive on any one of the screening tests cannot be used. If your blood is reactive on any one of the screening tests, further tests are carried out to confirm whether the result indicates a true infection.
If the test results show that you can no longer give blood, then you will be given specific advice.
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You Are Taking Certain Medications Or Antibiotics
What medications disqualify you from donating blood? Frankly, because there are so many medications this question is one of the more complex ones to answer regarding giving blood restrictions and rules. As a general rule, most OTC medications will not disqualify you from giving blood. If you take prescription medications, look at the ARCs list of medications to see if your medication may defer your donation.
The following are the most frequently discussed medications when it come to giving blood restriction:
- Aspirin: If you take Aspirin or medications containing Aspirin, you will likely be allowed to donate whole blood. If you wish to donate only platelets, you will need to wait the space of two full days between the last time you took a pill and the day you donate blood.
- Blood thinners: Since blood thinners affect the ability of your blood to clot, individuals taking certain types of blood thinners will not be allowed to donate.
- Birth control pills:Women taken birth control are eligible to donate blood.
- Insulin: Diabetics using insulin are eligible to donate blood so long as their diabetes is well under control.
For most antibiotics, wait until you have completed the full course of antibiotics if you are taking oral medication, and wait until 10 days after the last injection if youre receiving antibiotics by injection.
Blood Donation Eligibility Basic Requirements
Before we get too deep into giving blood restrictions, lets cover a few requirements that dont have anything to do with your health. In order to donate blood, you must:
- Be at least 17 years old. In some states, you can give blood at 16 years-of-age with parental consent.
- Weight at least 110 lbs. The weight limit is enforced because the amount of blood in your body is roughly proportional to your weight the bodies of individuals who weigh less than 110 lbs. may not respond well to the standard amount of blood drawn during donations.
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Can The Results Of Liver Panel Tests Point To The Presence Of Hepatitis C
A “liver panel” usually includes tests called AST, ALT, bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, and some others. Abnormal results could show up in many different conditions, not just hepatitis C. And even if the results of a liver panel are normal, you might still have hepatitis C. So, the liver panel alone cannot tell your provider the answer.
Hepatitis C can be diagnosed only by blood tests that are specific to hepatitis C:
In short, if the results of one or more tests on a liver panel are abnormal, generally speaking, the tests should be repeated and confirmed. If the results remain abnormal, your provider should be prompted to look for the cause.
More important than using the liver panel, if you have risks of having been infected with hepatitis C then you should have the specific hepatitis C antibody test to determine if you have hepatitis C infection.