Thank you for your recent participation in our blood donor program.
Unfortunately, we cannot transfuse your blood because it may transmit viral
hepatitis, an infectious disease causing liver inflammation, frequently
accompanied by yellow jaundice.
In a continuing effort to decrease the frequency of post-transfusion hepatitis,
we must test the blood of all donors for the presence of a substance which has
been shown to be related to viral hepatitis type B. This substance-hepatitis B
surface antigen (HBsAg) has been found in a number of donors throughout the
United States since this screening test was initiated. Blood containing this
antigen may produce hepatitis when transfused to a susceptible patient. On the
other hand, the vast majority of donors who have this antigen show no evidence
of having acute hepatitis or any other related medical abnormality. Thus, healthy
donors may, nonetheless, transmit hepatitis to the recipient of their blood.
We are writing to you because this antigen was found in your blood at the time
of your most recent donation. We would like to repeat this test on another
sample to confirm our initial finding and, at the same time, perform additional
tests for evidence of liver inflammation in you. This can all be done on a small
(10 ml) blood sample. Would you kindly contact me to arrange a mutually
convenient time for obtaining this sample? At the completion of these studies, I
will explain our results to you and give them to your personal physician if you so
If you truly are a carrier of HBsAg, this means that you should never again
donate blood here or any other blood bank. While we appreciate your
willingness to be a donor, we must consider the safety of the patients who would
receive your blood.
We wish to thank you again for your blood donation and to stress that the
finding of this antigen in your blood in no way diminished our sincere
appreciation for your efforts in behalf of our patients.
Figure 3-3. Sample letter for notification of donors found to be HBsAg-positive.