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Red Cross defends hepatitis testing policy

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The Australian Red Cross Blood Service says the decision not to introduce screening for the hepatitis C virus before 1990 was correct.

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service says the decision not to introduce screening for the hepatitis C virus before 1990 was correct.The service was responding to the Tainted Blood Action Group which has criticised the decision at a Senate inquiry. The Red Cross told the inquiry the tests available before 1990 were non-specific, inaccurate and may have led to a severe shortage in donations. Blood products manager Dr Brenton Wylie says the specific screening tests developed since then have made the risk of hepatitis infection extremely low.”The risk of acquiring hepatitis in Australia fell from approximately one in 300, per bag of blood transfusion used, to approximately one in 300,000 by the mid-1990s and to less than one in 3 million today,” he said.(Source: ABC Health News, March 2004)

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Dates

Posted On: 7 April, 2004
Modified On: 5 December, 2013


Created by: myVMC