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From: TSS (
Subject: Blood Donation and vCJD 9 September 2004 Lord Warner: My right honourable friend...
Date: September 12, 2004 at 1:41 pm PST

Blood Donation and vCJD

Lord Warner: My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for
Health has made the following Written Ministerial Statement today.

Following my Statements to the House on 17 December 2003 and 16 March
2004 concerning variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) and blood, I
wish to provide an update on some further developments in this area.

My Statement on 17 December 2003 informed the House of the first case of
possible transmission of vCJD via blood transfusion and the
precautionary actions taken. Those actions included measures to protect
future blood supplies and contacting recipients of blood from donors who
subsequently went on to develop vCJD. A further Written Statement on 22
July 2004 indicated a second case of possible vCJD prion transmission
via blood transfusion had been confirmed.

I also made reference in December to the fact that other patients,
including people with haemophilia and

9 Sept 2004 : Column WS105

other bleeding disorders, would have received plasma products before
they were sourced from the United States of America. Although there are
now two reports of possible transmission of vCJD via blood, the risk of
transmission via plasma products, which will have been derived from
large pools of plasma donated from many thousands of peopleand
therefore heavily dilutedis uncertain. But it cannot be excluded. The
CJD Incident Panel (CJDIP) were asked to advise on a case-by-case basis
(having adopted a highly precautionary approach) which recipients of
plasma products will need to be contacted. This advice has been received
and a programme of action has been agreed.

In June 2004 the Health Protection Agency (HPA), on behalf of the CJD
Incident Panel, reported on an assessment of the risk associated with
each batch of product and advised my department on: a) which patients
needed to be assessed and possibly subsequently contacted, and b)
managing the possible risk to public health of those patients.

9 Sept 2004 : Column WS106

In the light of these assessments, the HPA is today initiating a process
to notify relevant patients of these developments. The HPA are sending
information to clinicians to enable them to trace particular plasma
products. The clinicians will then notify any patients identified as 'at
risk' as a precaution. Any patients affected should expect to be
contacted by clinicians later this month.

Aside from patients with haemophilia or other bleeding disorders, the
other main group of patients who may have received significant amounts
of affected blood products are patients with primary immuno-deficiency

Throughout this exercise we have been concerned to ensure that the
results of the risk assessment are communicated to patients by the
clinicians responsible for their day to day care, so that appropriate
supporting information can be provided.

Further details about the risk assessment exercise will not be disclosed
until after patients are informed of the outcome. I will make a further
Statement at a later date, if necessary.


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