Blood and blood products

Since September 1991, all blood in the UK has been screened for hepatitis C. People who received blood for transfusions before this date might possibly have been exposed to hepatitis C.

If you have had an accident or operation in the UK which required a transfusion of blood or blood products before 1991 you may have been exposed to infected blood. It is worth noting that you may not be aware that you were given blood, especially if you were very ill afterwards. If you want to verify this, anyone who has received blood will find it mentioned in their medical records.

The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that 89% of blood donations worldwide are currently screened following basic quality procedures. Forty-seven percent of the blood collected in developing countries is not screened in a quality assured manner. Thirty-nine countries (24%) reported that they do not routinely screen for HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C or syphilis. Nine countries reported that they do not screen for hepatitis C at all.