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Dalkan Shield Contraceptive

Volume 978: debated on Monday 4 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what consideration he has given to his Department launching a campaign for the recall of months—one year. Available figures are as follows:the Dalkan shield contraceptive; and if he will make a statement;

  • (2) how many women he estimates are at present using the Dalkan shield;
  • (3) how many Dalkan shields were distributed in the United Kingdom from the date of its manufacture; how many of these were fitted; and how many were subsequently removed;
  • (4) how many women are known to have died in the United Kingdom as a result of the Dalkan shield being fitted; and how many women suffered adverse effects;
  • (5) if he will release publicity on the safety aspects of the Dalkan shield.
  • The manufacturer voluntarily withdrew the Dalkan shield in 1974 and, at the same time, wrote to all general practitioners, obstetricians and gynaecologists, family planning physicians and hospitals explaining the reasons for this action, namely, that the United States' authorities were investigating reports of septic miscarriages. The company also offered advice on special precautions to be taken in the event of pregnancy. No deaths in the United Kingdom were reported to the company or to the Committee on Safety of Medicines then or subsequently. Some 100,000 shields were distributed in the United Kingdom, but not all of these would have been fitted. The available information of complications on the basis of more than 5,000 insertions was of 164 pregnancies—including one miscarriage—and two suspected cases of infection.Although statistics are not collected on insertions or removals, regular medical review since 1974 makes it unlikely that many women are still using this product. I do not believe that the situation in the United Kingdom is such as to warrant my Department giving yet further publicity to these facts.