18 UK troops may have been given contaminated blood transfusions while deployed

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UK troops in blood disease checks
Eighteen British service personnel are being tested amid fears they may have been given contaminated blood while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The troops are being screened for a range of diseases including HIV, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.
The blood transfusions were given to personnel serving in the two countries after 2001 from American supplies.
The MoD said the risk of infection was low and that the troops could have died without receiving the blood.
The personnel are being tested for HIV, Hepatitis B and C, HTLV - a virus similar to HIV, Chagas - a tropical parasitic disease which occurs in the Americas - and the sexually-transmitted infection syphilis.

We are working with the appropriate health authorities to do all that we can to test and reassure the people involved
Derek Twigg Defence Minister
Defence Minister Derek Twigg said the risk of any of the troops being infected was "low", but the MoD was still taking the situation "extremely seriously".
"These 18 service personnel would almost certainly have died without receiving an emergency blood transfusion at the front line," he said.
He added: "We are working with the appropriate health authorities to do all that we can to test and reassure the people involved.
"We are, and will continue to do all that we can to support them and their families through this uncertain time."
An MoD spokeswoman said the test results were expected within the next three weeks.


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/7180288.stm

Published: 2008/01/09 23:52:36 GMT

© BBC MMVIII
WTF! Where are the checks and balances prior to the transfusions?
 
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