Hepa B, C common infections in donated blood-A A +A
Monday, July 16, 2012
A REGIONAL blood bank chief said Hepatitis B, C are the most common infections found in donated blood but are not being highlighted by the media unlike the human immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV).
Ten to thirteen percent of human population in the country is infected with hepatitis, according to Dr. Ernesto Miralles, Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center Regional Blood Bank head.
Some of these people, he said, were able to donate blood without them knowing that they were infected with the disease.
Hepatitis is a medical condition defined by the inflammation of the liver and characterized by the presence of inflammatory cells in the tissue of the organ.
The condition can be self-limiting or may heal on its own, or it can also progress to fibrosis (scarring) and cirrhosis.
Hepatitis may occur with limited or no symptoms, but often leads to jaundice, anorexia (poor appetite), and malaise. Hepatitis is acute when it lasts less than six months, and chronic when it persists longer.
Infection to this disease may be caused by a group of viruses known as the hepatitis viruses that cause most cases of hepatitis worldwide, but it can also be due to toxins like alcohol, certain medications, some industrial organic solvents and plants, other infections, and autoimmune diseases.
“But it is HIV that is being highlighted by the media, because no cure had been found for this disease,” Miralles said.
In some cases, spread of Hepatitis C may come from blood-to-blood contact due to poor medical equipment sterilization, especially on intravenous drug use.
Hepatitis B is transmitted by exposure to infectious blood or body fluids: semen and vaginal fluids. While in major developing countries, Perinatal infection is the major cause of Hepatitis B.
Miralles alsos said that in the region there were two confirmed cases of HIV -- one from the province of Leyte, while the other comes from Southern Leyte -- but he did not disclose their identities.
Although there are cases of donated blood that were found infected with those deadly diseases, Miralles said there is no case of transfusion of contaminated blood noted by the health agency in the country.
“Unlike in the case of United States, I can safely say that in our country, the blood that we use for transfusion is safe, because of the test that we are conducting,” Miralles said.
However, he said that there is no 100 percent assurance that all blood in blood banks are safe, since there is no perfect blood examination available at the moment even in first-class countries like the US and Japan. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)