Blood-borne infections, such as the HIV virus and hepatitis (B and C), were a major complication of treatment for hemophilia in the 1980s.
In many cases these infections were transmitted through the factor concentrates and other blood products that were used to treat hemophilia due to the use of large blood donor pools to prepare factor concentrates. In addition, a lack of proper, specific tests for infectious agents contributed to the contamination of blood products used to treat hemophilia.
Today, improved screening and manufacturing practices including virus removing techniques as well as the development of recombinant factors have essentially eliminated this tragic complication of treatment and OHTC is proud to have been on the cutting edge of addressing this threat in order to protect hemophilia patients from infections of viral, blood borne diseases. Today, all donors are tested for HIV and Hepatitis A, B and C.
In 1998 the Center for Disease Control (CDC) founded a surveillance program called the Universal Data Collection program, which establishes two goals:
- A blood-safety monitoring system for people with bleeding disorders
- The collection of clinical outcome data to monitor trends of infectious diseases and joint complications
OHTC actively participates in these goals/programs and since the program began, no documented transmission of hepatitis or HIV through clotting-factor concentrates has occurred. This program provides assurance to the hemophilia community of the safety of the products in use.