Wow, this is great. I am ashamed to say that for some reason I just assumed those of us with HCV could not be organ donors. I though this applied to those who have cleared the virus as well.
That's what I thought, too.
I am an organ doner.
Most liver transplants worldwide are because of HCV, as I'm sure you know too.
I used to have the donor stickers on my driver license, but didn't put them on my newest license after being told by my doctor that I couldn't donate any kind of organs because of the HCV. I even checked about a year ago to see if I could be tested as a potential marrow donor but was flatly turned down. Is anyone actually saying we CAN be donors now?
FACT: "Patients who have Hepatitis C may still donate organs to a patient who also has Hepatitis C". The same for hepatitis B although this is a lot rarer occurrence.
For liver transplant:
"Hospitals will evaluate all potential liver transplant donors for evidence of liver disease, alcohol or drug abuse, cancer, or infection. Donors will also be tested for hepatitis, AIDS, and other infections. If this screening does not reveal problems with the liver, donors and recipients are matched according to blood type and body size."
People that have cleared hepatitis C can be a donor like anyone else. (The only thing they can't do is be a Living Donor (LDLT) for living donor liver transplantation).
People with hepatitis C that need a transplant are able to choose a liver infected by hepatitis C, for example. It make no difference as far as survival after the transplant. The only stipulation is that the liver can not have extensive fibrosis or cirrhosis. All livers are tested for virus viability before being transplanted. The advantage for us waiting for a donor liver is we can get a hepatitis C liver sooner than a liver that is not infected with the virus. This is because only donor livers with hepatitis C are given to transplant patients with hepatitis C already. As most people know, is a transplant patient receives a donor liver without hepatitis C it becomes infected within a short time after the donor liver is connected to the blood supply.
All of my friends that had hepatitis C and have had liver transplants choose donor livers that were already infected with hepatitis C to get a liver sooner. They are all doing well and some of them are now treating their hepatitis C and being successful post-transplant.
"Is anyone actually saying we CAN be donors now?"
Yes, of course. You can donate all 8 organs to transplant patients that have chronic hepatitis C.
The requirements for bone marrow donors is different then an organ transplant.
If you have the following, you cannot join the registry:
Diagnosed with hepatitis B or C
Been told you had a positive confirmatory test for hepatitis B or C
Been told you are a carrier of hepatitis B or C (also known as a “chronic” infection)
History of hepatitis or yellow jaundice (after age 10) without a known cause
If you have questions regarding hepatitis and registration, contact us at 1 (800) MARROW2 (1-800-627-7692).
Thanks for posting this and informing everyone of their ability to donate even with a history of HCV.
It's incredible to know that the impact of just ONE organ donor can help save or enhance up to FIFTY lives!
In addition to the organs you listed, donated tissues can include skin, corneas, bones, veins, cartilage, heart valves and tendons. These donations do not only save lives; they can give sight to the blind, prevent amputations, repair the skin of a burn victim and so much more.
Wow. Thanks for posting this my friend. I am a registered organ donor since pre-diagnosis. I have never looked into whether or not I could be, I just assumed I could I guess. Any idea of what this means to those who reach SVR?? Would their organs still only go to those with HCV? Although.....I guess the advantage in that is a liver that has already gone through tx and cleared.
I think I answered my own question (LOL!). Good post! We often say: "Oh I meant to register" or "my family knows" but it takes a big step to actually do so. But......do so. We are not promised tomorrow, so leave a footprint behind that will help someone else.
"Any idea of what this means to those who reach SVR?? Would their organs still only go to those with HCV? "
If a person achieves SVR then they no longer have hepatitis C. They can donate all organs. If their liver is permanently damaged by hepatitis C such as with cirrhosis then only their liver won't be able to be donated. All other organs can be donated.
As I said, all organs that are donated are tested for infections, cancers and viruses before being declared healthy for transplant.
Thank you so much for this info, Hector. I have been very unhappy about not being able to be a donor, and now I will sign up again right away. I'm also going have to start having talks with all the people who say hep C patients can't donate!
Thanks for being part of the solution!
Because you live here in Northern California you can become a donor by registering with the California Transplant Donor Network.
Myth: Your history of medical illness means your organs or tissues are unfit for donation.
Fact: At the time of death, the appropriate medical professionals will review your medical and social histories to determine whether or not you can be a donor. With recent advances in transplantation, many more people than ever before can be donors. It's best to tell your family your wishes and sign up to be an organ and tissue donor on your driver's license or an official donor document.
MYTH: I don’t need to register to be a donor or tell my family that I want to be a donor, because I have it written in my will.
FACT: By the time your will is read, it will be too late to recover your organs. Registering to be a donor and telling your family and your doctor about your decision is the best way to ensure your wishes are carried out. You may also designate donation in an advanced directive or in a health care power of attorney where you designate someone to make decisions if you are not able.
MYTH: My religion does not support organ donation.
FACT: No major organized religion in the world objects to organ donation (for specific views, www.donatelifedc.org/facts/religious/ ). In fact, donation is often encouraged as an act that exemplifies a basic religious principle - that the giving of life and alleviation of pain and suffering is the highest level of spiritual generosity and love one can offer.
Wow I had no clue! I just assumed (don't say it) I could not be a donor. And I just renewed my license and changed it. Well looks like I will be going to the lovely DMW to change it back to organ donor.