Health: Contaminated Blood Products

House of Lords written question – answered on 6th April 2010.

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Photo of The Countess of Mar The Countess of Mar Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures they have taken to prevent transfusion-transmitted infections; and what consideration is given to emerging pathogens and those whose range will be extended by climate change.

Photo of Baroness Thornton Baroness Thornton Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

All blood establishments must comply with the Blood Safety and Quality Regulations (2005), as amended. The principal measure to protect patients against transfusion-transmitted infections is the careful selection of blood donors, supplemented by methods to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination during the collection of blood, and specific testing for evidence of infections which can be transmitted by blood.

The UK blood services are advised on the risks to the United Kingdom blood supply from outbreaks of infection and emerging infections both within and outside the UK by a specialist committee, the Standing Advisory Committee on Transfusion Transmitted Infection (SACTTI). SACTTI has well established national and international links with other blood services and with communicable disease organisations such as the Health Protection Agency.

A list of general blood safety measures can be found on the website for the Joint Professional Advisory Committee to the United Kingdom Blood Transfusion Services at www.transfusionguidelines.org.uk/index.aspx? Publication=DL&Section=12&pageid=389.

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