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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”


Blood tainted by hepatitis C used in transfusion
The Japan Times: Dec. 17, 2003

The Japanese Red Cross Society has confirmed the first case in which
donated blood containing the hepatitis C virus passed its screening
tests and was used in a blood transfusion, according to officials of
the organization.
The contaminated blood was donated in western Japan in November 2000
and the Red Cross detected hepatitis C genes in a followup test on
the individual blood samples it kept.

In June the society began to recheck samples of donated blood at the
instruction of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

It believes the screening system, which tested blood from 50 donors
together at the time of Alternative Treatments, failed to detect the virus because
the amount of the virus was small.

The contaminated blood was used in a transfusion to a patient with
stomach cancer in December 2000. The patient, who died of the cancer
eight months later, was not tested for the virus.

The latest finding means the highly sensitive screening test,
introduced in 1999, has failed to detect all three viruses for which
it was designed -- hepatitis B and C and the AIDS-causing HIV.

The Red Cross said earlier that more than 6,400 units of blood for
use in transfusions shipped since June 2002 may be contaminated with
hepatitis or other viruses.


The Japan Times: Dec. 17, 2003