Women informed about missed blood tests

Missed blood tests for HIV, Syphilis and Hepatitis B

01.09.2006

The National Blood Service (NBS) confirmed more than 600 pregnant women and new mothers are being asked to return to hospital after it was revealed that their blood tests for diseases such as HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B were not carried out.

It appears the introduction of a new form two years ago has led to the confusion among midwives who tested women between 1 December 2005 and 31 July 2006. As the form did not indicate that the patient had given informed consent, the tests were not carried out.

The NBS has searched records of all ante-natal testing referrals from 1st December 2005 and investigations have discovered 627 women who are affected by this, 506 whose tests were sent to Sheffield and 121 whose tests were sent to Leeds.

They have worked promptly with the NHS trusts involved, to ensure each trust can identify and contact the patients who did not receive the full range of tests.

A spokeswoman for the NBS said "Although the chances of them testing positive are low, it is important that they are offered the opportunity to have repeat tests.

In addition, the NBS has now taken measures to improve the procedures so the tests are carried out where possible even if the form appears incomplete.