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Health Insight August 2002: National Blood Services to improve

  Fresh frozen plasma for newborn babies and young children born after 1st January 1996 will be obtained from the United States in future, as an additional precaution against the theoretical risk of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) transmission. This fresh frozen plasma will have a further treatment to reduce the risk of blood-borne viruses. It is thought that children born after 1995 will have escaped coming in contact with vCJD in the food chain. The Department of Health said the move was designed to stop them becoming exposed to vCJD, which could potentially be carried in British blood products. The precaution is in addition to steps that have already been taken to improve blood safety. These include the removal of white blood cells, which evidence suggests may carry the greatest risk of transmitting vCJD, and the importation of plasma from the US for the production of blood products.

Source: Press release (DoH)


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  Produced in United Kingdom by The British Council 2001. The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organisation for educational and cultural relations. Registered in England as a Charity.