Asian Journal of Transfusion Science
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 132-135

Evaluation of new cases of HCV infection in thalassaemia patients for source of infection

1 Department of Thalassemia Clinic, Blood Transfusion Research center, High Institute for Research and Education in Transfusion Medicine, Thalassemia Clinic, Tehran, Iran
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Tehran Medical University, Emam Khomeini Hospital, Tehran, Iran
3 Department of Donor Recruitment, Blood Transfusion Research Center, High Institute for Research and Education in Transfusion Medicine,Tehran, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Azita Azarkeivan
Pediatric Hematology Oncology, Iranian Blood Transfusion Organization, (IBTO) IBTO Bldg, Hemmat Exp.way, Next to Milad Tower, Tehran, Po Box: 14665-1157
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-6247.83237

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Background: Screening tests on blood bags is important step for blood safety. In Iran, screening for HCV started from 1996. We decided to determine the new cases of hepatitis C in our thalassemic patients, after screening of blood bags was initiated and trace backing from recipients to find their donors. Materials and Methods: The study was done on patients with complete files for HCVAb test results. Only cases that had a positive HCVAb result following a negative result were considered as new cases. For trace backing, we recorded the blood transfusions' date and the blood bags' number from last negative test results (HCVAb) to the first positive test result. These data were sent to the transfusion center. The suspected donors were contacted and asked to be tested again in the transfusion center. Results: A total of 395 patients were studied; 229 (58%) males and 166 (42%) females. Mean age was 27.5 years. We had 109 HCV (27.5%) positive cases of whom 21 were infected after 1996. We traced the last five cases contaminated during 2003 and 2004. These five patients had 13, 10, 13, 12, and 6 donors, respectively (totally 54 donors were found). We proved the healthy state in 68.5% (37 of 54) of our donors population. Of them, 81% were repeated donors and 17 of 54 donors (31.5%) could not be traced (because of change in addresses). We did not have any HCV new cases after 2004. Conclusion: We could not prove HCV transmission from donors as the source of infection. Although parenteral transmission is always on top of the list in HCV infection, the possibility of hospital and/or nursing personnel transmission and/or patient-to-patient transmission such as use of common instruments like subcutaneous Desferal® infusion pumps; which the patients used for iron chelation therapy, should also be kept in mind.

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2006 - Asian Journal of Transfusion Science | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 10th November, 2006