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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Evel Knievel: Hepatitis from a blood transfusion

Evel Knievel, the red-white-and-blue-spangled motorcycle daredevil, died yesterday at age 69. He had been in failing health for years, suffering from diabetes and pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable condition that scarred his lungs.

He had undergone a liver transplant in 1999 after nearly dying of hepatitis C, probably contracted through a blood transfusion in one of his 14 surgeries to repair bone-shattering spills.

Now the blood supply is safer, and hepatitis C from transfusion is less of a worry.

Advice to patients undergoing surgery: You or your patient advocate should double-check that the donor's blood type matches yours.

Browse for similar stories in our index at the very bottom of this page, or read another blood transfusion story.

Thanks to Mitch Stacy for the source story in today's Boston Globe.

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