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March 2016
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  • Who Are the Patients at High Risk for Hepatitis C?

    Some 157,000 Illinois residents have Hepatitis C. And approximately 75 percent of them do not even know that they do!

    Hepatitis C can go undetected in patients – sometimes for decades. Most victims only find out when they begin to experience serious health complications.

    That's why ISMS urges physicians to screen their high risk patients for Hepatitis C, consistent with the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

    According to the American Liver Foundation, patients who are at high risk for having this bloodborne viral infection include:

    • Baby boomers (those born between 1948 and 1965)
    • Current or former drug users who used needles to inject, even if only once and many years ago.
    • Patients who had their blood filtered by a machine (hemodialysis) for a long period of time because their kidneys were not working.
    • Patients who received a blood clotting factor to treat a bleeding disorder (like hemophilia) before 1987.
    • Those who received a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July 1998.
    • Health care professionals who were exposed to blood through a needle stick or had other contact with blood or bodily fluids.
    • Patients who have HIV.
    • Those with evidence of liver disease, such as abnormal liver tests.
    • Those with a sex partner who has chronic Hepatitis C, or those with many sex partners.
    • Children born to Hep C positive mothers.

    To help raise awareness about screening, download ISMS' Hepatitis C poster for patients and display it in your office.

    Questions? Call you ISMS Advocacy Team at 800-782-4767 ext. 1470 or send an email.

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