Written Answers. - Blood Screening Procedures.

John Bruton

Question:

87 Mr. J. Bruton asked the Minister for Health if the screening of blood or blood products is sufficient to eliminate the possibility of the spread of AIDS or other similarly transmissible diseases; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [978/94]

I have been informed by the Blood Transfusion Service Board, the BTSB, that the screening procedures in place in the BTSB are in accordance with the standards laid down by such bodies as the Council of Europe. The blood donors who attend at the BTSB are screened prior to donating and their blood donation is screened by internationally acceptable tests. The screening procedures are constantly reviewed by the board to ensure that the highest possible blood screening standards are maintained.

I have been further advised by the BTSB that blood products are prepared from blood donations which have been screened and have tested negative for viral markers. In addition blood products, as a further safety precaution, are virally inactivated. The BTSB has informed me that it keeps abreast of international developments in relation to blood products to ensure as far as possible the safety of blood products used by patients in this country.