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Sickle Cell Anemia

Transfusions and Hepatitis A Virus

12/11/2006

Question:

I have what seems to be an uncommon question that I cannot for the life of me find an answer to... even my doctor was unsure how to answer which concerns me about who I`m seeing anyways... I have a friend with sikel cell anemia and i was wondering... many many years ago I had HAV - hepititis A and I am curious as to how this affects my ability to give blood transfusions? If we are the same type and everything will the hepA make it so I cannot give blood anyways? Or is it short lived and not contagious after it run its course like I have heard other places? And would the fact that they had hepA vacine allow for it? I would like to know if in an emergancy situation my blood would be helpful or harmful to my friend with anemia...

thanks much...

Answer:

I am not an expert in infectious diseases, but, in general, hepatitis A infections are not chronic like hepatitis B or C. Therefore if you have a normal immune system and you had the infection several years ago, it should be okay for you to donate blood. That being said, the american red cross and other blood banks are extremely cautious about donor selection. I would recommend that you call your local american red cross donor center and ask them.

For more information:

Go to the Sickle Cell Anemia health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Anthony D Villella, MD Anthony D Villella, MD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University