Improved Blood Donor Guidelines and Testing
Before the early 1990s, people with hemophilia who used products made from donated blood were at risk of contracting new diseases. For example, patients who infused factor products prior to 1987 were at risk of contracting HIV as some of the nation’s blood supply was infected.
Those who received factor prior to 1992 were at risk of contracting hepatitis C. Following these dates, tests to identify these diseases became widely used, and any infected blood or blood products were removed from the supply chain long before reaching a patient.
Today, these viruses have been eliminated from the United States blood supply through donor screening, blood testing and by using methods to kill or remove known and unknown viruses. Since these processes were introduced, there have been no incidences in the US of HIV or HCV transmission through factor products.
Patients who have only received clotting factor concentrate since these dates are at very low risk of contracting viruses from blood-derived infusion products.
Today, products created from US blood donations are considered to be among the safest in the world, as are those from major, developed countries; however, if traveling to countries with fewer medical resources, caution should be exercised.