Blood to be screened for CJD

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 24 August 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:441

Concern about the new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) has prompted Britain's blood supplier to tighten its donor screening process. As of this month, the National Blood Authority began questioning potential donors about their family history. Those people whose siblings, parents, or grandparents have developed the disease and people who have been treated with human growth hormone will be prevented from donating.

The decision to question potential donors follows the discovery that bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) may be transferred from cow to calf (10 August, p 317). While the method of transfer is unknown, there is concern that it could be bloodborne.

There is no evidence at present to indicate whether CJD, the human equivalent …

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