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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 4, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas HeraldZeitung Q Wednesday December Q 9A Networit establishes new regulations for liver transplants The United Network for Organ Sharing which sets national standards on transplant policy revised the way it allocates livers for transplantation on Nov 14 giving highest priority to the sickest patients with the greatest chance of surviving The new toppriority group includes patients with sudden and complete liver failure those whose first transplant rapidly failed and certain pediatric patients 1 UNOS decision means patients with chronic hepatitis B or C and their physicians can no longer count on liver transplantation to treat the longterm effects of their disease The new UNOS priorities thus represent a call to action to test for hepatitis B and C in their patients with risk factors for these infections and to treat eligible patients Further they make it all the more urgent for Americans to leam the risk factors for hepatitis B and C and for those who are at risk to seek diagnosis and treatment Fortunately clinical trials have shown that treating chronic hepatitis B and C with Intron A interferon alfa2b improves the outcome for more than half of patients The earlier treatment is started in the course of the disease the better the chances for a favorable result Media reports have suggested that only alcoholics and intravenous drug users are at risk for hepatitis But intraveneous drug use is only one of the risk factors for hepatitis B and C which are bloodborne viral diseases These types of hepatitis can be contracted through sharing a toothbrush or a razor with an infected person tattooing or body piercing with contaminated instruments or unprotected sex with an infected partner Health care professionals are also at risk through their exposure to infected blood The government recently reported that more than people may be infected with hepatitis C through blood transfusions prior to 1990 when a test for the virus became available people who received a blood transfusion before 1972 may be at risk for hepatitis B for similar reasons Moreover nearly onethird of the people with these infections cannot identify any risk factors In fact some 5 million Americans are estimated to have chronic hepatitis B or C and the great majority of them are unaware of their infection The reason is that only 30 percent to 40 percent of people with chronic hepatitis develop symptoms which may include jaundice yellowing of the skin and malaise fever nausea and mild abdominal pain The majority of carriers show few if any clinical symptoms and appear and feel healthy even though they may be developing permanent liver damage Among the resources established to counter the threat and stigma associated with hepatitis C is the Hep C Connection a metro Denver network and support organization founded in 1995 to provide hepatitis Cchallenged individuals and their families sound medical information encouragement and hope This organization focuses on up todate clinical information and approved treatment options in addition to providing support group settings where participants personal experiences are shared For more information on the Hep C Connection and affiliated hepatitis C support organizations call 1800 HEPC Submitted by the Hep C Connection McQueeney firefighters to conduct drive against holiday blood shortage The McQueeney Volunteer Fire Department is conducting a blood drive from 4 to 7 Dec 11 for the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center to prevent a holiday Anyone between 17 and 72 who weighs at least 110 pounds and is in good general health is encouraged to give Donors receive a free cholesterol test and a miniphysical checking for temperature pulse iron level and blood pressure Donors will receive a letter about 10 days after giving with their blood type and cholesterol level Donors should eat plenty of iron rich foods such fruits and vegetables and lowfat meats prior to donating To provide better service the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center requests all donors show proper indentification including date of birth Social Security number or photo identification before beginning the donation process For more information or to sign up for the drive call Tim Bogisch at 625341 lor 5602617 Have you given to the United Way Gome See Us AtOur New Location 650B South Seguin 6251495 Receive Off Your First Visit With This Ad WalkIns Welcome Karen Susan Sharon Kristin Evenings SALE AT THIS STORE ONLY ALL OTHER WEINERS STORES WILL REMAIN OPEN TO SERVE YOU EVERYTHING MUST GO FREE Initial Consultation limited time only Why do patients fly to see us for our unique health restoration and maintenance service The Specific Brain Stem Procedure Is a NEW WAY TO flf Find out for yourself without any obligation 6089392 Dr John A Schmidt 1291 E Common St New Braunfels TX 78139 Come browse through our store filled with over 100 crafters and their most unique Holiday 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