Continue Learning About Blood Basics
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
What Causes Hepatitis A
The hepatitis A virus causes this type of hepatitis and spreads through contact with an infected persons stool. Contact can occur by
- eating food made by an infected person who did not wash his or her hands after using the bathroom
- drinking untreated water or eating food washed in untreated water
- placing a finger or an object in your mouth that came into contact with an infected persons stool
- having close personal contact with an infected person, such as through sex or caring for someone who is ill
You cannot get hepatitis A from
- being coughed on or sneezed on by an infected person
- sitting next to an infected person
- hugging an infected person
A baby cannot get hepatitis A from breast milk.4
Are You Eligible To Donate Life
Review the information below to determine your eligibility for various types of donation.
Here are the essential qualifications, depending on your donation type. You can choose to donate whole blood or specific components through a process called apheresis or automation. This process allows one or more specific components of blood to be safely removed through a sterile process and the remaining components are safely returned to you through a sterile process. To learn more about the donation types, visit Learn More About Blood Donation.
Safety note: You cannot contract blood borne pathogens such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS by donating blood.
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How And Where To Donate
The need for blood donation is critical and ongoing. From the time of donation, blood can be stored in a refrigerator for only 42 days. Moreover, blood centers typically run out of types O and B, placing patients with these blood types at risk during public health emergencies.
If you are least 16 years of age in most states, are in good health, and weigh at least 110 pounds, you are eligible to be considered as a blood donor. You can find where to donate blood near you by accessing the American Red Cross website.
From start to finish, the blood donation process takes around the hour, including 10 minutes to draw one pint of blood.
Patients In The Late Acute Or Chronic Phase
These patients are in the transition from the high replicative, low inflammatory phase to the immune clearance phase with decreasing viremia and HBs-antigenemia. Immune clearance is connected with inflammation and consecutive fibrosis. Initially most patients with chronic hepatitis B are still HBeAg positive. Since HBeAg is non-essential, patients eliminate the HBeAg-expressing HBV wildtype, but HBeAg negative variants are selected which are often faster replicating. Absence of HBeAg indicates the breakdown of the immune tolerance to HBV and an enhanced immune clearance combined with intensified pathogenicity. Clinical observations suggest that levels of viremia usually decrease faster than the levels of HBs-antigenemia . Thus, HBsAg assays are sufficiently sensitive enough for detection of virtually all donors in these phases whereas HBV DNA screening would not identify many additional HBV carriers if any.
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How Do Doctors Diagnose Hepatitis A
Doctors diagnose hepatitis A based on symptoms and a blood test. A health care professional will take a blood sample from you and send the sample to a lab. A blood test will detect antibodies to the hepatitis A virus called immunoglobulin M antibodies and show whether you have acute hepatitis A. If the blood test finds antibodies to the hepatitis A virus that are not IgM antibodies, then you are immune to hepatitis A, due to either past hepatitis A infection or hepatitis A vaccination.
What Happens After Blood Donation
Your blood donation will be taken to a laboratory and will be tested for several things the first is blood type. The different blood types are: A, B, AB, and O. All blood types are eligible for blood donation.
Your blood will also be tested for any potential infections such as:
If your blood is positive to any of the above diseases, you will be notified by the donation center, and your blood will not be able to be used for donation.
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How Do Doctors Treat Hepatitis A
Treatment includes resting, drinking plenty of liquids, and eating healthy foods to help relieve symptoms. Your doctor may also suggest medicines to help relieve symptoms.
Talk with your doctor before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, vitamins or other dietary supplements, or complementary or alternative medicinesany of these could damage your liver. You should avoid alcohol until your doctor tells you that you have completely recovered from hepatitis A.
See your doctor regularly to make sure your body has fully recovered. If you have symptoms for longer than 6 months, see your doctor again.
Hepatitis B Core Antibody Positive Donors
UC Davis has also maximized organ placement through the use of organs from hepatitis B core antibody positive donors. These donors have been exposed to hepatitis B in the past but test negative for the more serious hepatitis B surface antigen. These organs are used only in recipients who have antibody against hepatitis B. Further testing is done to check the donor for actual hepatitis virus in the blood, which is very rare. This test takes several days and the results will not be available before the transplant. The recipient is treated with anti-viral medications until the results come back and if they are positive, the anti-viral treatment would continue for a longer period of time. Anti-viral treatments for hepatitis B are very effective and well tolerated. We have safely transplanted many patients using hepatitis B core antibody positive donor organs.
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Other Conditions That Make A Person Ineligible
Various conditions prevent a person from being eligible to donate blood. These include:
- Bleeding conditions: If a personâs blood does not clot normally, they should not donate, as they may experience excessive bleeding at the needle site. People who take blood thinning medication such as warfarin also should not donate blood.
- Some cancers: A person is ineligible to donate blood if they have blood cancer, such as:
- Hodgkin lymphoma
Am I Eligible To Donate Blood
- COVID-19 Vaccine & Blood Donation: There is no wait to donate if you receive the Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson/Janssen, Novavax or AstraZeneca COVID vaccine. For more vaccine guidance, visit bloodworksnw.org/coronavirus.
- As of July 15, 2020, Bloodworks implemented new FDA blood donor eligibility guidance supported by studies and epidemiologic data. The changes affect several blood donation criteria, such as travel, exposure risks and medications resulting in revised deferral periods for men who have sex with men Variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease , tattoos/piercings, travel to malarial endemic areas, and others. If you were deferred in the past, please contact us at 800-398-7888 to determine your eligibility according to the new criteria. Read about the updates here. We applaud the FDAs important step toward increasing opportunity to save lives and look forward to welcoming more people to join our team of lifesavers.
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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
Life Circumstances That Mean You Cant Donate Blood
History of injection drug use, or using needles to take any drugs that were not prescribed by your healthcare provider
Incarceration for more than 72 consecutive hours during the previous 12 months
Having had sex with another male in the last 3 months, if youre a male
Taken or given money or other payment for sex in the last three 3 months
Sexual contact with anyone who uses drug intravenously
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Medical Care And Treatment
It is very important to have a full medical check-up. This should be arranged with a specialist in liver disease. The specialist will arrange a full medical assessment of your liver which will give much more information about your health. You will also be advised if any treatment is necessary.
There is no cure for hepatitis B virus infection, but medications are available which can reduce the harmful effects of the virus. Whether or not you need treatment will depend on how the virus is affecting your liver. There is no special diet that should be followed, but it is important to avoid alcohol as this also causes hepatitis and liver damage.
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.
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What Medications Will Prevent You From Donating Blood
Most over-the-counter medications will not prevent you from donating blood. If you take prescription medications, check out this list from the American Red Cross to see if you can still donate blood.
You CANT donate blood if you take the following medications:
Prostate and hair loss medications
You CAN donate blood if you take the following medications:
Blood pressure medications
Never stop medications prescribed by your healthcare provider in order to donate blood. Its always a good idea to keep your healthcare team in the loop if you are planning to donate blood.
Common Questions And Donation Restrictions
There is no maximum age to give blood. The minimum age to donate whole blood is 15 years old. The minimum age to donate platelets and plasma is 17 years old.
You can donate blood if you have completed the prescribed dose of antibiotics and no longer have any symptoms of what caused them to be prescribed.
Before donation, every potential donor has his or her blood pressure taken to ensure readings are safely within guidelines to donate. Extreme levels are 90/50 and 180/100. Below the first or above the second will defer the potential donor. And you always get a free check to know for sure!
- If you currently have any form of cancer, you may not donate.
- If you have non-melanoma skin cancer , you may donate as soon as you are healed from the complete removal of the area involved.
- For melanoma skin cancer, you must wait 1 year from the date of treatment completion.
- If you have ever had leukemia or lymphoma you may not donate .
- All other types of cancer are acceptable IF your doctor has declared you cancer-free and your treatment is complete. Note: Females with breast cancer who are taking hormone-blocking medications are eligible, and donors who are cancer-free but have radioactive implants are also eligible.
Heart and Lung Problems
High blood pressure
Low Iron or Anemia
Tattoos and Piercings
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What Else Disqualifies A Person From Donating
Certain additional factors may also mean that a person is not eligible to donate blood. These include:
- Blood transfusion: People may need to wait at least 3 months after they have received a blood transfusion from another person in the U.S. before donating blood.
- Age: A person cannot donate blood if they are younger than 17 years.
- IV drug use: People who have used injectable drugs that a doctor did not prescribe must wait 3 months before donating blood.
- Pregnancy: Pregnant people cannot donate blood.
- Some medications: Medications rarely disqualify someone from donating blood. However, a person may have to wait a certain period after taking the last dose of certain medications before they can donate blood. These medications include:
- hepatitis B immune globulin â a 12-month wait after exposure to hepatitis
- acitretin â a 3-year wait
- thalidomide â a 1-month wait
Doctors may defer men who have sex with men for blood donation. They will evaluate them for reinstatement, which can take some time. First-time MSM donors can donate blood if they have not had sex with a man in more than 3 months.
Eligibility for blood donation varies by location but generally requires:
- being in good health at the time of donation
- being 17 years or older
- weighing at least 110 pounds
It takes about 1 hour to donate blood. Blood donation steps include:
During a visit:
All Volunteer Whole Blood Donors Must:
- Be at least 15 years old
At a donor center: Total blood volume is the added factor your donor specialist will be able to tell you whether you qualify.
Platelets and Plasma
To donate platelets, donors must meet the general whole-blood donation requirements. Prior to any apheresis procedure, LifeStreams trained apheresis team will evaluate the donors total blood volume and vein access to determine if an apheresis donation is possible.
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Early Phase Hbv Infections
However, not all HBV-infected individuals have very high concentrations of HBsAg. Donors in the early phase of the infection have still low viremia and a not-yet activated immune response to HBV. It is obvious that in this phase the most sensitive assays for HBsAg are required, and nevertheless a recently infected donor may be missed. Here, we will briefly discuss the strengths and weaknesses of current HBsAg tests and the efforts to standardize HBsAg assays for objective external quality control.
Hepatitis B Viral Safety Of Blood Donations: New Gaps Identified
Wolfram H. Gerlich, Dieter Glebe, Christian G. Schüttler
Institute of Medical Virology, National Reference Centre for Hepatitis B and D Viruses, Biomedical Research Centre , , Germany
Received: 01 September 2018 Accepted: 13 September 2018 Published: 18 September 2018.
In a recent paper published in the respected gastroenterological journal Gut, Candotti et al. report the transmission of hepatitis B virus to nine recipients of blood products which were tested for HBV by the highest current diagnostical standards . How could that happen?
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Blood Screening In The United States
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration , through the Center for Biologics and Research , is responsible for ensuring the safety of the roughly 19 million units of whole blood donated in the United States each year.
To keep the blood supply safe, the FDA has established regulations to screen donors before a donation and to screen donated blood after it has been received by blood banks. To help with this, an extensive questionnaire is given to donors to collect information about their medical history and any risk factors that may exclude them from donating.
Blood received from donors then undergoes routine screening for the following blood-transmitted infections:
Any donated blood is quarantined until it is tested and shown to be free of infection.
Due to advanced blood screening practices, the risk of the accidental transmission of hepatitis B and C from contaminated blood is less than one in 500,000 and one in two million transfused units, respectively.
How Do I Prepare To Donate Blood
First, go online and find a drive. You will enter your location, and a list of donation locations will appear. You will be able to choose a time slot, and make an appointment to donate blood online.
Some tips for getting ready to give blood include:
Getting a good nights sleep
Eating healthy, well-balanced meals as much as possible
Drinking more water the morning of your blood donation
Taking your medications as usual , including your blood pressure medications
Making sure you have a government issued ID
Knowing your travel history if you have traveled outside the U.S. in the past 3 years, you can fill out a travel form ahead of time and bring it with you to your appointment.
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