Although transfusion of blood and blood products was a major cause of HCV infection in the past…
Although transfusion of blood and blood products was a major cause of HCV infection in the past, the introduction of screening for this virus has greatly reduced the risk. Current screening tests identify almost 100% of infected blood donors, (Tabor,E.,”Hepatitis C virus, a causative infectious agent of non-A non-B hepatitis”, J Natl Cancer Inst 1992;84: 86-90).and blood concentration factors can now be rendered virus-free by the procedure of vapor heating.
Nevertheless, the risk of infection, while minimal, inevitably increases in patients requiring large amounts of transfused blood. There also remain a large number of hemophilia patients and blood transfusion recipients who have chronic hepatitis C as a result of infection prior to identification of and screening for the virus. Worldwide, approximately 25% of HCV-infected individuals give a history of blood transfusion.
(Hopf, U., “Long-term follow-up of post transfusion and sporadic chronic hepatitis non-A, non-B and frequency of circulating antibodies to hepatitis C virus (HCV)”, J Hepatol 1990; 10: 69-76.