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Is it safe to transfuse blood from drug addicts?

Q: Is transfusing blood from a donor who is a drug addict (using brown sugar, cocaine, heroin etc.) to a normal patient advisable? What are the ill-effects if a patient is transfused with blood from a drug addict?

A:Drug addicts are not suitable as blood donors as they have a much higher incidence of transfusion transmitted infections such as hepatitis B and C and HIV. That means blood from such persons can cause hepatitis and HIV in persons receiving their blood. Although blood is tested for these infections before transfusion, no test can detect all infections. Blood from such persons is best not used as the dangers of infection from their blood is very high.

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