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Blood Transfusions: CJD

Volume 488: debated on Monday 2 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the National CJD Surveillance Unit informed his Department of evidence of infection of a patient with a bleeding disorder with vCJD transmitted by a transfusion; and if he will make a statement. (258723)

The information on the finding of abnormal prion protein associated with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) in a spleen sample taken from a haemophilia patient at post mortem, was presented to the Department by National CJD Surveillance Unit on 6 January 2009. Before the finding was made public on 17 February, it was important to find out information about the patient’s possible routes of exposure to abnormal prion protein associated with vCJD. The Health Protection Agency and the UK Haemophilia Centre Doctors’ Organisation worked to prepare accurate information packs and letters for haemophilia centre doctors and their patients.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the potential financial liability to the NHS arising from claims from patients with bleeding disorders infected with vCJD from NHS transfusions; and if he will make a statement. (258724)

No such estimate has been made. The vCJD Trust is available to pay compensation to patients with clinical variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) and their families and carers. No patients with bleeding disorders have been diagnosed with clinical vCJD.