Medical Q&As

Blood donation and hepatitis?

My question is whether I can donate blood or not? I had jaundice and hepatitis 6 years ago.

Several of our readers have expressed an interest in donating blood, which is very gratifying in view of the current shortages being experienced at the blood bank. Unfortunately hepatitis is a contraindication to donating blood for fear that the hepatitis virus would be transmitted to the recipient. All blood donations are screened for evidence of exposure to hepatitis however potential donors are required to complete a questionnaire beforehand in which they are excluded if they have a history of hepatitis. Some people may have had hepatitis in the past and not be aware of the fact that they had the infection. Screening of all donated blood ensures that these cases are identified and consequently excluded from the panel of blood donors.