Hep B

Shirley U’s post about marrow donation got me wondering about something…

I contracted Hep B along with two other guys back in 1975. We had gone to the local Veteran’s Hospital to have wisdom teeth removed. Out of 12 men, 3 later came down with it.

Anyway, could I ever donate blood/organs in the event that (God forbid) my son needed such a donation?

Your local Red cross could tell you definatively but I believe that all forms of Hepatitis are screened from the blood supply. In other words, I don’t think they’d take your blood.

The answer is a qualified “probably” not.

For Hep B, there are tests that could be done to demonstrate whether you had become chronically infected, or had cleared the infection & are now immune. BUT since hep B risk factors are the same as Hep C risk factors are the same as HIV risk factors, I doubt anyone would allow you to donate blood, bone marrow, or any other tissue (maybe corneas).

These policies date to the times when testing for HIV & Hep C were much less precise or sensitive as now, but no one has decided to lift the prohibitions. In fact, even more prohibitions are being added (tattoos, travel to England > 6 months total, among others).

If it’s any comfort, you most likely would not be a good tissue donor for your son; while 1/2 of his HLA markers would be inherited from you, the other half would come from his mother & be very unlikely to match up.

Sue from El Paso