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Blood Products

Volume 173: debated on Tuesday 22 May 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has on the proportion of blood products recently supplied to the National Health Service and recalled by the supplier which has been four d to have been poisoned with hepatitis B.

All donations collected by the blood transfusion service (BTS) are tested for the hepatitis B virus and neither cellular products for patients nor plasma for fractionation and resultant plasma products are issued unless the test is negative. At the fractionation laboratory all plasma pools are tested for hepatitis B and used only if found negative. All plasma products undergo virus inactivation procedures and finished plasma products are tested for hepatitis B and issued only if found negative. All hepatitis B test results on plasma pools and finished products are confirmed by the National Institute for Biological Stanards and Control before product release.In the recent episode to which the question refers, a blood donation which tested negative for hepatitis at the regional transfusion centre was separated and the plasma processed into blood products. The cellular components were transfused into a patient who subsequently contracted hepatitis. As is standard procedure, the original donor was traced, a blood sample taken and retested for hepatitis B by two laboratories. One test gave a marginally positive result. As a precautionary measure, all plasma products derived from this donation were recalled. Because of the various safeguards listed, the risk to patients from use of the products in question is considered to be extremely small.The quantities recalled, and for comparison the quantities (issued to the NHS) in the last year for which information is available, are as follows:

Quantities recalled (Vials)Quantities issued 1989–90 (Vials)
Factor VIII2,500251,000
Factor IX50036,000