News from Hepatitis Week of Jan. 5, 2003 / Vol. 3 No. 01

Study: Blood Products For Bleeding Disorders Unlikely to Transmit Hepatitis

Virally inactivated blood factor concentrates used to treat bleeding disorders such as hemophilia are unlikely to transmit hepatitis, according to a report issued by the Centers for Disease Control.

Blood factor concentrates used to treat hemophilia can contain blood donated by different individuals.

Since 1998, the CDC has collaborated with about 140 federally funded hemophilia treatment centers (HTCs) in the United States and its territories to monitor blood product safety and detect new viral hepatitis and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections.

The report presents findings of investigations conducted between May 1998 and June 2002 of 1,149 seroconversions for hepatitis viruses identified among persons with bleeding disorders.

Ninety-nine percent of hepatitis A virus (HAV) seroconversions and 90% of hepatitis B virus (HBV) seroconversions were attributed to vaccination programs against hepatitis. None of these cases was attributable to blood products received during this time

According to CDC, the report suggests that currently available blood factor concentrates most likely do not transmit hepatitis. The CDC also concluded that the regular monitoring of patients ensures the continued safety of blood and blood products.

Other Sources: Centers for Disease Control