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.
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.
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.
Recommended Reading: Can You Recover From Hepatitis C
Who Can Donate Plasma
To donate plasma you will need to:
- be generally fit and well
- be between the ages of 17 and 66
- have enough blood to donate safely. Check how much blood you have
- have suitable veins and a normal pulse
- be able to spare 1 hour 15 minutes to donate
- be able to travel to a plasma donor centre
- meet all donor eligibility criteria
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.
Read Also: How Dangerous Is Hepatitis B
Explanation Of Test Results:
If this test result is positive, it means your body was exposed to the hepatitis C virus and made antibodies . However, it does not tell you whether you are still infected with hepatitis C. If the antibody test result is positive, you should be tested for hepatitis C RNA , which determines whether you are chronically infected. The lab will perform this RNA test automatically if your hepatitis C antibody test is positive.
If the antibody test result is negative, it means you have not been infected with the hepatitis C virus, and further testing for hepatitis C usually is not needed.
What Is The Function Of Blood Plasma
Plasma helps carry proteins, hormones, and nutrients to different cells in your body. These include:
- Growth hormones that help your muscles and bones grow
- Clotting factors that help you stop bleeding when you get a cut
- Nutrients such as potassium and sodium that help your cells work
Plasma also helps your body:
- Maintain normal blood pressure and blood volume levels
- Get rid of the chemical waste from cells by dissolving it and carrying it away
You May Like: Hepatitis B Vaccine Cost Cvs
If You Have Hepatitis C Can You Have Sex Without Infecting Your Partner
Hepatitis C is a virus that is transmitted by blood. The most common ways people become infected with hepatitis C are through needle sharing, such as during injection drug use, or from blood transfusions received before 1992.
Becoming infected from sex is not common, but it does happen. If you have hepatitis C, the chance of infecting a sex partner is higher if you are with a new partner or if you have had many different partners over time. If you have hepatitis C, the chance of infecting a sex partner is lower if you are with a longtime stable partner and if you are in a monogamous relationship.
If your sex partner is new to you, or if you have many different partners, it is safer if you use condoms during sex to reduce the chance of transmitting hepatitis C.
It is always best to talk directly with your health care provider to assess whether you should start using condoms. If you are in a sexual relationship and either you or your partner has hepatitis C, the other partner should be tested for hepatitis C and other sexually transmitted viruses once a year, or as advised by your provider.
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.
Recommended Reading: Hepatitis B Shot Side Effects
What Is The Difference Between Relapse And Nonresponse
The goal of treating chronic hepatitis C is to completely clear the virus. This means that your “viral load” is zero or so low that the virus can’t be detected with standard blood tests.
Without treatment, the hepatitis C virus in liver cells constantly makes copies of itself, and the virus ends up not just in liver cells but also in the bloodstream. Treatment is intended to completely stop reproduction of the virus so that it doesn’t continue to enter the bloodstream or cause any more injury to liver cells.
Successful treatment results in a “sustained virological response.” This means the virus becomes completely undetectable before the treatment is finished, and it remains undetectable for 6 months after treatment is stopped.
A “relapse” means the viral load drops to an undetectable level before treatment is completed, but becomes detectable again within 6 months after treatment is stopped. Even if the virus returns at a level that is lower than it was before treatment, a relapse is still considered to have occurred. A relapse can be determined if the viral load starts to rise during treatment, or at any time after the virus becomes undetectable.
A “nonresponse” means the viral load never drops significantly and the virus remains detectable throughout the course of treatment.
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: What Is Hepatitis A And B And C
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.
How Do I Find A Donation Center
You can find a donation center near you by searching the internet. Organizations such as the American Red Cross and Americas Blood Centers have walk-in donation centers that you can visit almost any time.
Many blood banks and donation services, such as the American Red Cross and Association for the Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies, have traveling blood banks that visit schools, organizations, and other locations that are scheduled in advance.
- provide a location for the American Red Cross to set up a mobile donation center
- raise awareness about the drive and get donors from your institution or organization
- coordinate donation schedules
Before you donate blood, follow these tips to prepare your body:
- Wait at least 8 weeks after your last donation to donate whole blood again.
- Drink 16 ounces of water or juice.
- Follow an iron-rich diet consisting of foods such as spinach, red meat, and beans.
- Avoid a high fat meal right before donating.
- Dont take aspirin for at least 2 days before the donation if you plan to donate platelets, too.
- Avoid high stress activities.
Recommended Reading: What Is Hepatitis C And What Causes It
How To Donate Plasma
Expect the plasma donation process to take 1 to 2 hours. If its your first time at the donation center, the initial paperwork and health screening may take longer. Depending on how fast the blood draw occurs, the actual donation part takes roughly an hour.
To donate, make an appointment at a reputable plasma donation center. If you arent sure where to go, check with your doctor or a local hospital for recommendations. Currently, there are more than 700 licensed and certified plasma collection centers in the US and Europe Licensing means that your donation will be executed by a trained medical professional in a highly controlled, sterile environment.
What Are The Side Effects Of Treatment
The direct acting antiviral regimens used to treat hepatitis C today are extremely well tolerated. You may experience mild side effects like headache or fatigue. For details on the side effects, review the handout specific to medication you take.
In rare instances, providers may recommend the addition of the medication ribavirin for more difficult cases of hepatitis C. Ribavirin may cause additional side effects such as fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, anemia, or rash. Patients who receive ribavirin may need more frequent monitoring for side effects as well as adjustment of the dose if side effects are experienced. For detailed information on ribavirin, patients should review the ribavirin handout.
You May Like: Hepatitis B Surface Antigen Test
Annex 6hepatitis B Virus Infection: Information For Blood Donors
Hepatitis B is a very common virus. Worldwide, an estimated two billion people have been infected with hepatitis B virus , and more than 350 million are chronic carriers of the virus, mostly in Asia, Africa and China. HBV infects the liver and can cause hepatitis. Hepatitis simply means inflammation of the liver.
Hepatitis A Vaccine And International Travel
Who should get the hepatitis A vaccine before traveling internationally?
All unvaccinated people, along with those who have never had hepatitis A, should be vaccinated before traveling to countries where hepatitis A is common. Travelers to urban areas, resorts, and luxury hotels in countries where hepatitis A is common are still at risk. International travelers have been infected, even though they regularly washed their hands and were careful about what they drank and ate. Those who are too young or cant get vaccinated because of a previous, life-threatening reaction to the hepatitis A vaccine or vaccine component should receive immune globulin. Travelers to other countries where hepatitis A does not commonly occur are not recommended to receive hepatitis A vaccine before travel.
How soon before travel should I get the hepatitis A vaccine?
You should get the first dose of hepatitis A vaccine as soon as you plan international travel to a country where hepatitis A is common. The vaccine will provide some protection even if you get vaccinated closer to departure. For older adults , people who are immunocompromised, and people with chronic liver disease or other chronic medical conditions the health-care provider may consider, based on several factors, giving an injection of immune globulin at the same time in different limbs.
What should I do if I am traveling internationally but cannot receive hepatitis A vaccine?
Also Check: What Are The Signs Of Having Hepatitis C
Are There Supplements That Are Bad For My Liver
Taking too many vitamin and mineral supplements may do more harm than good to a damaged liver.
What Is Hepatitis
Hepatitis means “inflammation of the liver.” Hepatitis can be caused by a virus, such as hepatitis A virus, hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus. Hepatitis can also be caused by alcohol . There are other conditions that can cause other types of hepatitis but these are the main causes. Longstanding hepatitis–from viruses or alcohol–can lead to scarring in the liver called cirrhosis.
Don’t Miss: Unspecified Hepatic Cirrhosis Type Hcc
Can I Donate If
For whole-blood donation, you can make an appointment using our simple on-line form. If you have any other questions or concerns regarding donation, call the NIH Blood Bank at 496-1048. We can also answer many of your questions via email at .
Below, you will find a list of questions donors frequently ask. The eligibility criteria for donation at the National Institutes of Health Department of Transfusion Medicine reflects local NIH policy as well as national regulations. Although all blood banks are required to follow general federal regulations, specific criteria may vary, depending on each blood bank’s internal policies. If you are donating at a blood bank other than the NIH Blood Bank, contact that bank with any questions regarding your eligibility.
Can I donate if …
Can I donate if I am taking aspirin? You cannot donate platelets if you have taken aspirin in the last 48 hours.
Can I donate if I am 16 years old? You must be at least 17 years old to donate at the NIH Blood Bank or Donor Center at Fishers Lane.
Can I donate if I am 70 years old? There is no upper age limit for donation.
Can I donate if I have traveled to other countries? There is a slight risk of exposure to infectious agents outside the United States that could cause serious disease. Donor deferral criteria for travel outside the US are designed to prevent the transmission of three specific organisms from donor to recipient:
How Do I Tell Someone I Have Hepatitis C
Informing someone that you have hepatitis C can be hard. Most people know little about this disease. You can start with how you found out about your diagnosis. It helps to be prepared with educational materials on HCV, and to be aware of the ways that people can and cannot be infected. For example, it is very rare for HCV to be transmitted during sex. Be sure to tell anyone who may be directly affected, such as:
You may want to encourage others to be tested for HCV if they have similar risk factors.
You May Like: Hepatitis B Surface Antibody Quantitative
Other Things To Know:
- After a successful course of treatment for hepatitis C, the hepatitis C antibody remains detectable, but the hepatitis C RNA will be undetectable.
- If you plan to donate blood, you will be tested for the hepatitis C antibody and will be turned away even if you do not have an active infection.
- Any patient with a positive test result for the hepatitis C antibody should have additional tests to determine whether or not the virus is still active.