People with bleeding disorders and hepatitis C - A factsheet for GPs

Posted 18 September, 2020
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• Many Australians with haemophilia, von Willebrand disease and other bleeding disorders
acquired hepatitis C virus (HCV) through blood products for their treatment before 1993,
usually through plasma-derived clotting factor concentrates
• Males and females with mild bleeding disorders may have had few treatments in their lifetime
and not be aware of their HCV risk or status
• All individuals with bleeding disorders who received blood products before 1993, including plasma-derived
clotting factor treatments, should be tested for exposure to HCV and, if positive, for current HCV infection
• People with inherited bleeding disorders may also be at risk of HCV infection for reasons independent
of their bleeding disorder and should be tested if they have risk factors.
• In adults with bleeding disorders, HCV infection is likely to be of at least 25 years duration, a risk factor
for cirrhosis, and further assessment with a referral to a hepatitis or liver specialist is appropriate
• Clinical management of the person with a bleeding disorder and HCV should be the same as in the general
population of people with HCV, with some further considerations:
• If the person has advanced liver disease, it is important to liaise with the patient’s Haemophilia Treatment
Centre for information on their individual bleeding problems and to manage any potential bleeding
complications encountered with HCV treatment or management
• Attention may need to be given to access/travel to clinic appointments and referrals for testing if there
are mobility or financial problems.

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