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Can You Donate Blood If You Have Hepatitis C

What Is Hepatitis A

Hepatitis C Patients Speak Out About the Silent Killer

Hepatitis A is a viral infection that causes liver inflammation and damage. Inflammation is swelling that occurs when tissues of the body become injured or infected. Inflammation can damage organs.

Viruses invade normal cells in your body. Many viruses cause infections that can be spread from person to person. The hepatitis A virus typically spreads through contact with food or water that has been contaminated by an infected persons stool.

Hepatitis A is an acute or short-term infection, which means people usually get better without treatment after a few weeks. In rare cases, hepatitis A can be severe and lead to liver failure and the need for an emergency liver transplant to survive. Hepatitis A does not lead to long-term complications, such as cirrhosis, because the infection only lasts a short time.

You can take steps to protect yourself from hepatitis A, including getting the hepatitis A vaccine. If you have hepatitis A, you can take steps to prevent spreading hepatitis A to others.

Why Should I Get Treated

Hepatitis C can be fatal when left untreated.

Untreated hepatitis C can lead to scarring of the liver known as cirrhosis.

A small number of people with cirrhosis will go on to get liver failure, the only treatment for which is a liver transplant. A small proportion of people with cirrhosis develop liver cancer.

What Does The Term Donor Deferral Mean

Donor deferral means that an individual is not eligible to donate based on the criteria used to protect the health and safety of both the donors and transfusion recipient. A prospective donor may be deferred at any point during the collection and testing process. The period of time you will not be eligible to donate depends on the specific reason for deferral. After the deferral period ends, a donor can return to the blood donor center to be reevaluated and resume donation if all donor eligibility criteria are met.

Blood donor centers follow donor eligibility criteria based on requirements of the FDA, AABB Standards, and their own local policies. The blood centers medical director has ultimate authority and can establish a more stringent deferral policy based on clinical judgement as a physician. Refer to the AABB Blood Donor History Questionnaire for examples of the questions asked during the donor screening process. Your blood donor center can best answer your questions about donor deferral. Some of the reasons for deferral are listed here:

Also Check: Antiviral Medications For Hepatitis C

Annex 7hepatitis C Virus Infection: Information For Blood Donors

Hepatitis C virus is found worldwide. It is estimated that 34 million people are infected with HCV each year and that 130170 million people are chronically infected with the virus. HCV is among the most common viruses that infect the liver and can cause hepatitis. Hepatitis simply means inflammation of the liver.

Dr Sumana Kolar Ramachandra Chief Of Liver Transplant Columbia Asia Referral Hospital Answers

Can You Donate Blood if You Have Hepatitis C?

Written by Mansi Kohli | Published : June 14, 2017 5:04 PM IST

Patients with Hepatitis B, C and D cannot donate blood as these are transmitted by blood. So, your donated blood would infect anyone who receives your blood as a transfusion. According to Dr. Sumana Kolar Ramachandra, Chief of Liver Transplant, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Yeshwanthpur, all infected people carry the virus for their lifetime. It remains in their body and can wake up anytime and produce the disease, which can be very severe. They can never donate blood.

Individuals with active HAV, HEV or hepatitis of unknown origin should be deferred from donating blood for a minimum of 12 months, and can donate blood only after full recovery. Patients with hepatitis A and E cannot donate blood for at least 12 months as it is transmitted through food and contaminated water. If a patient has just finished a course of antibiotics within the last seven days or has had any type of infection within the last two weeks he/she be should not donate blood. Read more about 13 causes of hepatitis you didn’t know about

A donor with an acute infection of any kind should not donate blood. It is acceptable to donate only after finishing oral antibiotics for an infection, or 14 days after completion of treatment. A patient may donate if he or she has taken last pill on the date of donation. If antibiotics is received by injection for an infection, then it is acceptable to donate blood after 10 days of last injection.

Also Check: When Do You Get Hepatitis B Vaccine

If I Was Deferred Once Befoream I Still Ineligible To Donate

Name of Office: National Voluntary Blood Services Program

If your deferral is of a premature nature, you will be informed. Otherwise, the deferral time depends upon the reason for deferral. Prior to each donation, you will be given a mini-physical and medical interview. At that time, it will be determined if you are eligible to donate blood on that particular day.

Are Alternative Medicines Available

Some people believe certain forms of alternative medicine help cure hepatitis C.

However, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health reports that there are no effective, research-proven forms of alternative treatment or complementary medicine for hepatitis C.

Silymarin, also known as milk thistle, is an herb commonly suggested to help cure hepatitis C liver disease. But a rigorous did not find any beneficial effects from this supplement.

Recommended Reading: What Is Hepatitis C And Is It Curable

Next Steps For Donating Plasma As Long As Youve Never Had Hep C

As part of our clinical trials solution, DoNotPay can help you find the best plasma sites near you. We offer compensation estimates and outline the donation process and the eligibility requirements, so you know exactly what to expect. We’ll also help you contact them if you have any questions or concerns, such as regarding your eligibility, office hours, compensation, or first-time bonuses.

Here’s how you can use DoNotPay to become a plasma donor:

  • Search “plasma donations” on DoNotPay and find the nearest donation clinic through our clinical trials product.
  • Select the “Contact Now” button to learn more about eligibility criteria, contact the clinic with questions, or sign up for first-time donor bonuses.
  • Verify your information and submit your inquiry! DoNotPay will contact the clinic on your behalf and make sure your questions get answered.
  • What Are Genotypes And What Do They Mean

    Hepatitis C is Curable | Johns Hopkins Viral Hepatitis Center

    Viruses have genes, too. The genotype of virus you have can be one of six different groups, or genotypes. Most patients with hepatitis C in the United States have genotype 1a or 1b, but in other parts of the world, other genotypes are more common.

    There isn’t a “better” or “worse” genotype to have. In the past , genotype 1 was the most difficult to successfully cure but this is no longer the case. All the new direct-acting antiviral medicines work extremely well in treating all genotypes. Sometimes genotype 3 is a little harder to cure, but in general, all genotypes now have extremely high likelihoods of being cured with hepatitis C treatment.

    Also Check: Hepatic Steatosis Versus Hepatocellular Disease

    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.

    Gay Men Chemsex And Hep C

    Group sex and chemsex parties provide the perfect storm for hepatitis C transmission.

    If youre taking drugs and having sex for longer your inhibitions are likely to be lowered and the delicate skin lining the anus can be damaged, causing bleeding. Hep C is very infectious and is easily passed on through group sex it can even be passed from one person to another on fingers.

    The virus spreads through anal sex and fisting when condoms and gloves are not used. Its also passed on during group sex, on objects such as sex toys, fingers, enema equipment, condoms, latex gloves or in contaminated lubricant.

    The iBase guide Safer HCV sex for gay men is a useful reminder of what to avoid and what steps to take to protect yourself.

    The Hepatitis C Trust has some useful information about transmission. They also provide an advocacy service for men who have sex with men who have been re-infected with hepatitis C after previously being successfully treated.

    Read Also: The Cure For Hepatitis C

    In Which Situations Do People Generally Donate Blood

    Name of Office: National Voluntary Blood Services Program

    There are three types of blood donors:


    They sell their blood, which is of very poor quality and can transmit very dangerous diseases to the recipient. It is illegal to take blood from any professional or paid donor.


    Healthy relatives and friends of the patient give their blood, of any group, to the blood bank. In exchange, the required number of units in the required blood group is given.


    Here, a donor donates blood voluntarily. The blood can be used for any patient even without divulging the identity of the donor. This is the best type of blood donation where a motivated human being gives blood in an act of selfless service.

    Does The Donor Suffer From Any Harmful Effects After Donating Blood

    Why The Prevention of Hepatitis C is so Important?

    Name of Office: National Voluntary Blood Services Program

    Absolutely not, rather a donor after having given blood voluntarily gets a feeling of great pleasure, peace and bliss. Soon, within a period of 24 to 48 hours, the same amount of new blood gets formed in the body, which helps the donor in many ways. His own body resistance improves, the circulation improves, and he himself feels healthier than before.

    Read Also: Does Hepatitis C Affect The Liver

    What Types Of Tests Are Performed On Donated Blood

    Name of Office: National Voluntary Blood Services Program

    After blood is drawn, it is tested for ABO group and RH type . Test for unexpected red blood cell antibodies that may cause problems for the recipient can be performed upon the request of the patient’s attending physician. Screening tests performed are listed below:

    • Hepatitis B surface antigen
    • Hepatitis C virus antibody / antigen
    • HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibody antigen
    • Serologic test for syphilis

    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.

    Read Also: Can You Get Rid Of Hepatitis

    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.

    Does Donated Blood Stay On The Shelf Indefinitely Until It Is Used

    Get Screened for Hepatitis C

    No. Each unit of whole blood is separated into several components. Red blood cells may be stored under refrigeration for a maximum of 42 days, or frozen for up to 10 years. Platelets are stored at room temperature and may be kept for a maximum of five to seven days. Fresh frozen plasma is kept in a stored frozen state for up to one year. Cryoprecipitated AHF is stored frozen for up to one year. Granulocytes must be transfused within 24 hours of donation.

    Other products manufactured from blood include albumin, immune globulin, specific immune globulins, and clotting factor concentrates. Commercial manufacturers commonly produce these blood products.

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    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.

    Giving Blood And Organ Donation

    If you have hepatitis C, you cannot give blood.

    In a recent research study in America kidneys from people with hepatitis C who had died were transplanted into patients who did not have the virus.

    All of the recipients subsequently contracted hepatitis C but were treated for it and all were cured. The benefit of receiving a kidney outweighed the risk of not clearing hepatitis C.

    Recommended Reading: How Do Catch Hepatitis C

    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:

    Can I Get Reinfected With Hepatitis C

    What You Need to Know About Hepatitis C

    If you become infected with hepatitis C infection and then clear the virus , yes, it is possible for you to become infected again.

    The chance of another infection with hepatitis C is much, much less than the chance of a first-time infection, but it is not impossible. It has happened in people who continue to use injection drugs, and some studies suggest that it happens even more often in people who are also HIV positive.

    In other words, having had hepatitis C once does not make you “immune” to getting hepatitis C again.

    The best way to avoid reinfection is to reduce risky behaviors that can result in exposure to the hepatitis C virus: Do not use injection drugs, do not share needles for any reason, avoid blood-to-blood exposures with others, and use condoms if you are sexually active with a new partner or with a partner who has used injection drugs.

    The research in this area is ongoing, and we will continue to learn more about this very important topic. But for now, preventing re-exposure to the hepatitis C virus is the only sure way of avoiding infection and reinfection with hepatitis C.

    Recommended Reading: Hepatitis C Causes Symptoms And Treatment

    A Quick Note On The Different Types Of Blood Donation

    Today, there are several different types of blood donation. For example, The American Red Cross has four different donation categories that are split up depending on the blood components taken:

    • Whole Blood: White blood cells, red blood cells, platelets, and plasma all donated
    • Power Red: 2 units of red blood cells donated platelets and plasma returned to your bloodstream
    • Platelet donation: Only platelets extracted donated other blood components are returned to bloodstream
    • Plasma donation: Only plasma extracted and donated other blood components are returned to bloodstream

    If you intend to take advantage of a blood donation type other than whole blood donation, keep in mind that these donations may be subject to additional restrictions and rules.

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