Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. Inflammation is when your liver swells up and doesn't work right. Although hepatitis can have many causes, in people with bleeding disorders it is most often caused by a virus. The most common types of hepatitis caused by viruses are Hepatitis A, B, and C. Many people who used factor concentrate in the 1970s and 1980s became infected with Hepatitis B and C.
The risk of hepatitis in blood products
Whole blood and plasma are checked to see if they contain hepatitis viruses. Any blood that has the virus is not used. Some factor concentrates, called plasma-derived factor, are made using human blood. Blood donors are screened and tested for hepatitis. The factor is treated to get rid of viruses. Recombinant factor, which is not made from plasma, has never been known to transmit hepatitis.
For added protection against Hepatitis A and B, people with bleeding disorders should be vaccinated (immunized) against them.