Importation of plasma and use of apheresis platelets as risk reduction measures for variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: The SaBTO review

Paediatric Components Working Group of the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Following recognition that blood, blood components, tissues and organs donated by infected donors could transmit infectious prions causing variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), several risk reduction measures were introduced in the UK. The Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO) established a working group to review the measures in place. Factors considered included: ethical issues around the current provisions and potential changes; operational issues for blood establishments and hospitals; a review from the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) showing the downward trend in the estimated number of future cases of vCJD; and cost-effectiveness. The working group recommended that the current vCJD risk reduction measures for individuals born after 1995 or with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) could be withdrawn. After consultation with stakeholders, SaBTO accepted these proposals which allow more equal provision of components, less operational complexity and risk, and more resources to be deployed elsewhere in the NHS. The potential saving on plasma will be £500 m and moving to using pooled platelets in additive solution for all recipients will bring potential savings of £280 m over the next 50 to 60 years. There could be small number of additional clinical cases of vCJD: 1–2 (<1–14; 95% CI) from plasma and 3–4 (<1 to 45; 95% CI) from platelets. Local and national guidelines will still be applied for managing individual conditions. UK Ministers for Health accepted SaBTO's recommendations on 9 Sept 2019 and implementation began immediately. This paper describes the review and rationale leading to these recommendations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-31
Number of pages8
JournalTransfusion Medicine
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 British Blood Transfusion Society.

Keywords

  • blood safety
  • risk reduction
  • SaBTO
  • transfusion
  • vCJD

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