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Armed Forces: Blood

Volume 488: debated on Monday 23 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will request NHS Blood and Transplant to supply pathogen inactivated blood products for military personnel use. (255760)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will ask the NHS Blood and Transplant Service to supply pathogen-inactivated blood products for use by military personnel. (256969)

Pathogen inactivation (PI) is a process designed to eliminate pathogens—i.e. viruses, bacteria and fungi—from water, air or donated blood. The majority of the blood held in-theatre by the Defence Medical Services is supplied by the UK National Blood Services (NBS), which does not routinely carry out PI on its blood products. However, the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO—a Department of Health NDPB) will be reviewing options to reduce the risk of bacterial infection in platelets, including pathogen inactivation, in early 2009, which will inform decisions on its use in the UK. It would be premature of MOD to pre-empt the results of this review.