You were one of many donors to a patient who recently developed
post-transfusion hepatitis. Tests performed on your most recent sample show no
evidence that you, yourself, have hepatitis. Tests on all of the other donors to
this patient are also negative. When no donor can be specifically implicated, it is
our policy to make a notation on the donor's card regarding this hepatitis
involvement and to continue to allow future donations. If, however, such a donor
is similarly involved on a second occasion, we request that he no longer donate
blood for patients.
A review of our records indicates that this is the second time a recipient of
your blood has developed hepatitis. This in no way implies that you were the
one to transmit this disease since many other donors were also involved on each
of these occasions. However, since our screening tests for hepatitis are not
perfect and since we know that healthy donors can transmit hepatitis in their
blood, we take the ultimate precaution of excluding anyone involved in 2 hepatitis
cases. We realize that this is somewhat wasteful of donor resources and that it
results in the exclusion of some persons who are perfectly safe donors, but we
feel an obligation to our patients to do this.
In summary, we have found nothing in your blood to indicate that you have
hepatitis, and there is no need for you to be concerned regarding your family.
Your involvement in two cases of hepatitis may well be a chance occurrence due
to your frequent donations. Nonetheless, in our current state of knowledge, we
have no choice but to request that you do not again donate blood for patient care
purposes (your blood may be used for research). It is hoped that more definitive
tests for hepatitis will be developed in the near future. At such time, we may be
able to pinpoint the implicated donor more precisely and clear the other donors,
with more assurance. You may then, again, become an eligible donor.
I must emphasize our sincere appreciation for your previous donations and for
your efforts in behalf of our patients. It is unfortunate that we must now exclude
donors on such incomplete evidence. I hope that you will understand. I would
be most happy to discuss this with your further, if you desire. I can be contacted
Thank you again.
Figure 3-5. Sample letter to donor implicated in two cases of post-transfusion hepatitis.