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Blood: Contamination

Volume 508: debated on Thursday 25 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of infections resulting from bacterially contaminated blood transfusions in England and Wales in the last 24 months; how many of those infections resulted in fatalities; and if he will make a statement. (323741)

The following table shows the number of patients reported to have acquired a bacterial infection from transfusion of blood components in England and North Wales (the area covered by NHS Blood and Transplant) between 1 April 2008 and 31 December 2009 (20 months). Complete data for 2009-2010 are not yet available. In total, eight recipients were reported to have received a bacterial transfusion-transmitted infection, three of whom died. There are around 2.4 million transfusions in England and Wales annually.

Financial year

Number of infected recipients

Number of recipients experiencing major morbidity1

Number of fatalities









1 Major morbidity is defined as any symptomatic confirmed transfusion-transmitted infection. 2 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009. 3 Data available from 1 April 2009 to 31 December 2009 only.