Blood Screening FAQs
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- Why are blood banks now screening for Chagas disease?
- How does the screening test protect people from Chagas disease?
- What happens to the blood that tests positive on the screening test?
- Will I be tested automatically?
- If my blood tests positive on the screening test, does that mean I have Chagas disease?
- What does a “false-positive result” mean?
- Will the blood bank let me know if my blood tests positive for Chagas disease?
- Can I get Chagas disease from donating blood?
- Can Chagas disease be spread through blood transfusions?
- Can Chagas disease be spread through donated organs?
- If I test positive for Chagas disease, can I give blood again?
- If I was diagnosed with Chagas disease in the past, can I donate blood?
- If I have had a transfusion or a transplant, should I be concerned about getting Chagas disease?
The transmission of Chagas disease via blood transfusion is a recognized risk. Screening tests recently have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Screening for Chagas disease makes the blood supply even safer for everyone.
The blood screening test allows blood banks to destroy potentially infectious blood before it is given to anyone. Screening will prevent those who are found to have the disease from donating blood again.
The blood that tests positive will be removed from the blood supply.
Yes. Most donors will only be tested once and if the result of their test is negative for Chagas disease, they will not be tested when they donate again.
Probably. However, no test is perfect. Some false-positive results may occur with these very sensitive tests. You should discuss your results with your health care provider.
A “false-positive result” occurs when an initial test indicates a person has Chagas disease, but further testing indicates the person does not have the disease after all.
Yes. The blood bank will contact you if you test positive for Chagas disease and will provide general information about the disease.
No. You cannot contract Chagas disease from donating blood. The needles are only used once and are discarded. Sterile procedures and equipment are routine at blood banks.
Yes. The disease can be spread by receiving blood that came from a person with Chagas disease.
Yes. Chagas disease can be spread to an organ transplant recipient if a donated organ came from a person with Chagas disease.
No. You cannot donate again if you’ve tested positive for Chagas disease.
No. If you have ever been diagnosed with Chagas disease, you will not be able to donate blood.
Probably not. The risk is very low. You should, however, be aware of the potential risk for Chagas disease infection and the need to monitor your health. If you have symptoms of Chagas disease or other concerns you should contact your health care provider.
This information is not meant to be used for self-diagnosis or as a substitute for consultation with a health care provider. If you have any questions about the parasites described above or think that you may have a parasitic infection, consult a health care provider.