First Test Results of Screening for Hepatitis C Announced

On this day in 1994, the Blood Transfusion Board announced the first results of its nationwide screening for hepatitis C. Over the past two weeks, women throughout Ireland had queued for tests following the board's announcement that women given anti-D blood product in 1977 might have been infected from a batch contaminated with hepatitis C. Anti-D immunoglobulin was given to mothers with Rhesus negative blood in cases where they had just given birth to babies with Rhesus positive blood to prevent any future Rhesus positive babies from dying.

George Devlin reports for RTE News on the Blood Transfusion Board's press conference on 7 March 1994. It has been announced that 28,199 of the estimated 60,000 women who received the injection since 1970 have  been tested. 5,200 of the estimated 8,000 who got it in 1977 have been tested and the results suggest that 10% of those who got it that year might be infected.

Dr Joan Power, who made the connection between the virus and the blood product, says the figure doesn't surprise them. Dr Terry Walsh says they are focusing on 1977, but the product has a two-year shelf life, so women who received it in 1978 and 1979 are also of particular concern.

Women at Blood Transfusion Board, 1994

  • CONTACT
  • TERMS OF USE
  • PRIVACY
  • DISCLAIMER
  • COPYRIGHT